WVA and EC together for the 2nd Global Webinar on Animal Welfare: The importance of new technologies to empower vets in the field of Animal Welfare

Activity type
The 8th of December 2014, organised by the GD-SANCO in collaboration with the World Veterinary Association, the second Global Webinar on Animal Welfare took place at the European Commission in Brussels and all over the world for the over 100 international online attendees. The focus of this edition was on the importance of new technologies to empower vets in the field of Animal Welfare, therefore assisting education and training, daily practices, and research, i.e. big data. The idea of the first webinar was born during the World Veterinary Congress in September 2013, in Prague with the objective to keep alive the debate between the World Veterinary Association and the European Commission and continue developing further such a global discussions platform on animal welfare.

The panel discussion has been moderated by Peter Jinman (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons), who coordinated all speakers: Andrea Gavinelli (European Commission and Professor of the Master in Animal Law and Society of the UAB), Daniele Battaglia (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Joe Anzuino (World Animal Protection), Zoran Katrinka (World Veterinary Association), Franck Berthe (European Food Safety Authority), Derek Belton (World Organization for Animal Health), Jan Vaarten (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe) accompanied by Tisa Kosem (intern at FVE and ex student of the third edition of the Master in Animal Law and Society of the UAB), Merel Rodenburg (International Veterinary Student Association), Gail Golab (American Veterinary Medical Association), Adroaldo Zanella (School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science – University of São Paulo, Brazil), and Chris Walster (World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association).

The various presentations gave interesting insights on the new technologies which have been developed to assist education and training such as the free online Massive Open Access Courses (MOOCs) of the University of Edinburgh, the WVA´s Global Online Veterinary Education Repository, the eLearning tool on slaughter launched by the European Commission, and the AVMA´s online sources on US and international issues on animal welfare. Furthermore speakers presented technological tools helpful for vets in daily practices, such as WikiVet, AWIN´s phone app to assess pain in horses, and the mobile census system developed by Mission Rabies. Lastly the panel focused on new technologies assisting research, which should allow big data to be accessible and transparent.

During the discussion several points were made both by speakers and attendees, thanks to online polls and the live chat. Underlined was the fact that the effectiveness of these new means can be achieved not only through global resources but also by finding local ways of dissemination, granting free and ethical access, and creating partnerships between developers, users, and animal owners. Undoubtedly the previously mentioned technologies can make a significant impact in empowering vets in the field of animal welfare and in providing knowledge and raising awareness in animal owners; nevertheless the session agreed that people must be educated and put in the condition of being able to use these tools. Mobile technology could definitely be a solution to monitor rural areas in underdeveloped countries, but only with the collaboration of the private sector, transferring the instruments to animal owners that allow them to efficiently use these applications. As a final point was stated that data should be made available for secondary analysis and it should be valid for a meaningful use of it. In conclusion we can affirm that participants do see great opportunities for veterinarians in using and developing new technologies.

The official Webinar report can be found HERE and the full recording on Animal Welfare can be found by clicking HERE.

Mag.iur. Martina Pluda, LLB.oec.

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Peter Jinman (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) Jan VaartenAndrea Gavinelli (European Commission, Master in Animal Law and Society - UAB)

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