Student Talks

AWF offers free talks on animal welfare to students of veterinary medicine and nursing. They may also be of interest to students of animal welfare, animal behaviour, agricultural science, zoology, and more. Talks can take place in-person or virtually, depending on your preference. Please note that in-person requests may not always be possible, in which case the talk will be delivered virtually instead.

The talks are followed by a Q&A and are delivered by speakers with a wealth of experience in their field. 

Our talks are a wonderful opportunity for your fellow students to learn more about animal welfare and prepare themselves for the challenging issues they might face in as the future of the veterinary/animal welfare professions – book yours today!

Topics available:

Can animals get bored and how can we know this?

Is boredom uniquely human or can some animals experience it too? Science is beginning to answer this question, revealing a potentially important and overlooked animal welfare issue.

Dangerous dogs: it’s complicated!

This talk will cover signs of aggression, who and why dogs might bite and how aggression may be prevented. We will also cover the Dangerous Dogs Act and other legislation surrounding dangerous dogs.  The talk will finish with a case study to start discussion on how the issue of aggression might be handled in practice.

Puppy Farming

This talk will cover different aspects of puppy farming, including: definitions, numbers, locations, legislation, the consequences of puppy farming, and what actions are needed to help tackle the issue. The talk will also include a case study around identifying and dealing with suspected cases of puppy farming in practice.

How to respond to requests from clients for the euthanasia of healthy companion animals

Depending on the speaker this talk may cover: definitions of euthanasia, potential reasons for euthanising an animal, how to manage the process, ethical considerations from the perspectives of different stakeholders (animal, owner, veterinary staff, wider society), and alternatives to euthanasia.  This will be followed by a selection of interactive case studies about euthanasia in practice.

Sheep are not stupid

This talk will cover research into sheep behaviour, as well as examining welfare indicators and human behaviour that affects sheep wellbeing.

Is farm animal welfare being overlooked in favour of production?

The efficiency of UK livestock production has doubled over the last 30 years, with larger herds and flocks producing greater volumes of meat, milk and eggs from the same number of stock. But in this drive for agricultural productivity, has the welfare of farm animals suffered? What role should vets have in livestock farming in the 21st Century? And how can veterinary professionals help farms achieve sustainability without compromising welfare?

How big is the equine obesity problem in the UK, and what advice can be given?

This talk will look at the impact of obesity on the UK equine population and explore how vets can effectively educate owners, and provide effective solutions to address the problem and improve equine welfare.

Overtreatment – Just because we can does it mean we should?

Advances in veterinary medicine have no doubt led to animals enjoying an increasing length (and quality) of life, and higher expectations of clinical excellence. But whilst treatments are progressing, are they always in the animal’s best interests? This talk will look at ‘overtreatment’, current regulations, the role of the owner, and the ultimate welfare of the animal. Students will also consider real life clinical scenarios and ask themselves how they would proceed.

Organic farming and welfare

This talk will cover aspects of organic farming of various farmed species and how this approach to farming may impact on animal welfare.

  1. “All in all an excellent talk which I’d highly recommend to anyone who wants a knowledgeable speaker with a wealth of experience and advice to impart to future vets.”

    How to respond to requests from clients for the euthanasia of healthy companion animals with Liz Ormerod at Edinburgh University.
  2. “The talk proved extremely popular with a huge turnout of around 120 students and not a seat left unfilled in the theatre. It was a brilliant evening that incited some really thoughtful questions.”

    Dangerous Dogs with Chris Laurence at Liverpool University.
  3. “We are very grateful to AWF for facilitating the talk – it’s excellent to be able to offer additional talks at the vet school from external speakers about topics that are not ordinarily covered, thus widening education and interest.”

    Sheep are not stupid with Kate Hovers at Cambridge University.
  4. “Excellent presentation with an effective slideshow and images to aid and support understanding of topics. Clear and confident and engaging. Jacqui was really approachable and lots of people came and spoke to her after the talk. ”

    Exotic Vet in Practice with Jacqui Paterson at Liverpool University.

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