Online student talks

Dive into the world of animal welfare from the comfort of your home!

AWF is launching a series of free online student talks, open to all students in veterinary medicine and nursing, as well as related studies such as animal welfare, animal behaviour, agricultural science, zoology and more.

Led by experts in the field, these talks are a gateway to better knowledge and understanding of animal welfare and the role students can play in shaping its future, no matter where you study or where you are in the UK.

The talks will be available to watch on our Youtube channel afterwards.

Prize draw

Everyone who registers for a student talk between now and the end of April will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a Discussion Forum ticket worth up to £135! If you would not like to be entered in the prize draw, please contact us at

2024 Schedule

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

13th February 2024 6:30pm – 7:30pm

This webinar, led by animal welfare expert Julian Kupfer BVSc LLM MRCVS, will 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.

Speaker: Julian Kupfer, AWF Chair of Trustees

After graduating from Liverpool Julian worked in mixed practice concentrating on livestock and was a partner in a veterinary hospital in the South West. Since leaving practice he has worked in senior management in the service sector industry and latterly spent several years in the pharmaceutical industry with major technical roles. Julian brings knowledge of marketing, operational management, strategic planning and the charitable sector. He remains active in his local BVA subdivision and is a past president of WCVA.


Is farm animal welfare being overlooked in favour of production?

Thursday 14th March 2024 12:30 – 1:30pm

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?

Speaker: Matt Dobbs, former AWF Trustee

After qualifying from the Royal School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Matt started life in companion and livestock veterinary practice in rural Dorset. In 1999 he returned to academia to continue his career and held positions at the University of Sydney, US Davies in California, and at the Royal Veterinary College in London, where he was appointed lecturer and Senior Clinician.

After completing a RCVS Certificate, Matt returned to clinical practice, setting up his own veterinary businesses, including laboratories, digital animal health, first opinion and referral veterinary clinics. With 37 clinics the group became the UK’s largest veterinary business in their sector, before managing a successful exit to Private Equity in 2018.

Matt’s passion is innovative veterinary care, and he has received several awards for developing new and novel ways of ensuring the highest standards in animal care, including a Nuffield Scholarship and the Queens Award for Voluntary Services.

As a farm vet and a qualified lawyer, Matt still does the odd fertility routine visit and provides legal opinion on a number of animal welfare and litigation cases.



Can animals get bored and how can we know this?

Friday 19th April, 12 – 1pm

This talk, led by animal welfare researcher Charlotte Burn will discuss a pressing animal welfare issue for captive animals: boredom. It will help you identify behaviour indicators of boredom to distinguish it from other emotions and find adapted solutions. It will also look at enrichment strategies, and which has a greater impact on alleviating boredom.

Speaker: Charlotte Burn, AWF Trustee

Charlotte is a biologist who specialises in animal welfare and behaviour. She conducts scientific research to improve understanding of animal welfare at the Royal Veterinary College. She also leads a degree course in Animal Biology, Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics. Her expertise covers many animals and has included research on laboratory rodents, dairy cows, zoo bears, and pet dogs. She has an interest in scientific communication and how to create evidence-based animal welfare improvements in the real world.