Ep40 Sarah van Herpt on bear friendships, the importance of observations, and stories of healing

2021 ibuzz podcast Apr 24, 2021

Sarah van Herpt is a senior bear team manager at Animals Asia in Vietnam, and she shares the work Animals Asia is doing and how they are working to improve the welfare of animals in captivity. In addition, they are working towards ending the dog-meat trade and ending bear farming. 

Sarah shares with us the daily routine of observation, feeding, and enrichment with the bears at the sanctuary. She explains all about the dens and bear houses in the facilities, the choice the bears have, and open access for the animals. 

Sarah talks about different behaviours at night, sleeping habits, secret friendships, and the different personalities they bears have, and helps us understand what a happy bear looks like and how they mimic faces of others when playing. She explains the different types of friendships found in the groups. 

Sarah provides some background on sun bears and moon bears, differences in biology, and care in captivity. She speaks about the interaction between...

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Ep39 Steve Unwin on interconnectedness, community, and people also as part of nature

2021 ibuzz podcast Apr 17, 2021

Dr Steve Unwin, Lecturer in Biosystems and Environmental Change at the University of Birmingham School of Biosciences in the UK, is a European specialist in Zoo Health Management. 

Steve starts introducing how he became into the field of veterinary science and conservation, his work in zoos and other facilities and his time as a veterinary officer and clinical manager at Chester Zoo. Steve thinks that conservation is not about animals, is but about people, and he highlights the importance of storytelling for conservation purposes.

Steve shares his involvement with the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance veterinary programme, through which he also worked together with Sabrina. Steve is not only working with African primates but also with orangutans through the Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group. He remarks on the importance of capacity building of local primate and wildlife veterinarians, scientists and conservation managers.

Steve explains the differences between the One Health and...

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Ep38 Gordon Burghardt on reptiles, critical anthropomorphism, controlled deprivation and play

2021 ibuzz podcast Apr 10, 2021

Gordon Burghardt is an Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the Psychology, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology departments at the University of Tennessee in the USA, with more than 50 years of experience in the field. 

Gordon gives a short overview of his work and research interests, having worked with all kinds of animals and collaborated with people all around the world. He talks about his last research project studying behaviour in black bears' dens and cubs. 

Gordon shares some stories of the learning repertoire of reptiles, individuality and personality differences in reptiles, and the behaviour of snakes right at birth. He also shares other work in social behaviour and learning with spiders, fish, turtles, and stingrays. 

Sabrina and Gordon talk about critical anthropomorphism, a place for emotions in behaviour system research, and comparative psychology using animal models to understand humans. 

Gordon expresses his opinion on the ethical treatment of...

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Press release: PAWS celebrates its 1st anniversary!

2021 paws Apr 09, 2021

Media contact: Sabrina Brando
Founder and director
[email protected]


Press Release


PAWS celebrates its 1st anniversary!

We are celebrating today 1st anniversary of the Practical Animal Welfare Science platform! First, a huge thank you to all our PAWS members! We at AnimalConcepts are so grateful to engage in animal and human wellbeing activities and learning together with you all, we could not be without you!

PAWS grew so much in 1 year, with 2 new platforms added, 1 on human wellbeing OneCare, and 1 on the Earth Charter and SDGs. We are grateful to hear from all our members how much they use and enjoy them.

AnimalConcepts launched the PAWS platform on 9 April 2020 with the purpose to provide access to quality content to serve animals, people and the planet. At the time of launch, I said,

"My vision is that the PAWS' platform is one of the go-to resources that animal care professionals can use to learn, engage, and enjoy in our...

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PAWS member KonijnWijs and De Kattentroon founder Laura Dijkman

This blog is written by Laura Dijkman. Laura has been a PAWS member since 2020. She is from the province of North Holland in the Netherlands, and as we say in the Netherlands, a true “polder” girl. Born in Haarlem, one of her favourite cities, 2 years ago she moved with her boyfriend to a beautiful house in Valkenburg. Laura runs KonijnWijs and De Katten Troon. Thank you Laura for this blog & for being an active PAWS community member!

KonijnWijs Trimsalon and De Katten Troon were born from a love for animals. KonijnWijs translates roughly into “RabbitWise”, in other words; handling and caring for your rabbit wisely. De Katten Troon translates into “The cat’s throne”, in other words; handling your cat like royalty.

I provide rabbit and cat care and provide general advice on aspects such as fur care, skincare, health and nutrition, disease prevention, and housing. My love for...

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Ep37 John Webster on animal sentience, why veterinarians need animal welfare science, & The Cordelia Principle

2021 ibuzz podcast Apr 03, 2021

John Webster is Professor Emeritus and former Head of the Veterinary School at Bristol University. He studied veterinary science as he wanted to help animals. He is also a founding member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council and first propounded the ‘Five Freedoms’ as a standard for defining the elements of good welfare in domestic animals.

John highlights the importance of animal welfare science for veterinarians and talks about the insights of the animals. He discusses how "sentient animals do not live only in the present” and how having emotions matters in addition to understanding the duty we have of looking at animals' minds.

Sabrina and John discuss the constant endeavour to act according to what is right, not simply that which is regulated, and what we perceive to be the right decision for the animals.

John explains to us the ethics and politics of animal welfare, and our moral duty to minimize any distress that comes from our actions while giving them a life...

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Press release: A more diverse, equal and inclusive (DEI) world: Goodbye to discounts and more!

Media contact: Sabrina Brando
Founder and director
[email protected]


Press release


A more diverse, equal and inclusive (DEI) world: Goodbye to discounts and more!

AnimalConcepts is dedicated to creating a more diverse, equal and inclusive (DEI) world for all and our purpose is wellbeing for everyone, and when we say everyone, we mean everyone. Creating an inclusive culture is not just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do. Diverse, multicultural perspectives make us and our lives better. Through our global activities, commitments, and partnerships we aim to reflect the communities we serve so everyone feels empowered to achieve excellence in animal care, conservation, and human wellbeing.

In line with our commitment to embodying and practising DEI we have said goodbye to bonuses and discounts e.g., ‘Become a member for 12 months - get 2 months off’, flash sales, early birds, and other...

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Press release: AnimalConcepts supporting the Association of Minority Zoo & Aquarium Professionals

2021 amzap dei Mar 31, 2021

Media contact: Sabrina Brando
Founder and director
[email protected]


Press Release 


AnimalConcepts supporting the Association of Minority Zoo & Aquarium Professionals

AnimalConcepts is delighted to announce a new collaboration! From now on we are supporting the Association of Minority Zoo & Aquarium Professionals (AMZAP) in its mission of increasing minority representation throughout the zoo industry. Through networking, outreach, mentoring and professional development resources, AMZAP builds relationships amongst minorities.

AMZAP is a network of professionals working with exotic animal husbandry, research, and conservation. The association focuses on developing a sense of community amongst minorities working in the zoo industry and promoting animal care and conservation careers as viable options.

AMZAP was officially created in 2020 however the concept of an organized group to support the minority zoo...

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Swimmingly forward: Fish welfare, pain and intelligence

By Holly Molinaro & Sabrina Brando

Usually, we release one Science into Practice (SiP) resource every week. For this month, we have a little bonus for you. Two SiPs in one week! You can access all materials via the PAWS platform, not a member yet? Become one HERE or sign up for more blogs like this via our newsletter!

This week, both SiPs are about fish welfare, pain and intelligence.

One of the reasons for this is that we would like to discuss and cover a wide variety of topics and stances, including the ones we do not necessarily adhere to. We should make all efforts to not fall into the trap of excluding information just because it does not fit our worldview, philosophy, or opinion, but rather discuss openly and put forward our ideas, thoughts and feelings, bringing in all the science and other perspectives available to have a deeper conversation.

(1) Rose (2007), Anthropomorphism and ‘mental welfare’ of fishes


(2) Sneddon (2019), Evolution of...

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Ep36 Daniel Mills on looking at individual animals, solving behaviour problems, and studying animal emotions

2021 ibuzz podcast Mar 27, 2021

Daniel Mills is a professor at the University of Lincoln in the UK. He currently consults at the University Animal Behaviour Clinic. In 2020 he was recognized by Stanford University as part of the top 2% of all scientists globally.

Daniel dives into his research world of problem behaviour, and his studies to understand individual differences in animals that reflect emotions. He remarks that animals are often not using human mechanisms to solve problems, rather they do it their own way and we have to understand that in order to assess animals’ emotions more systematically. 

He tells the story of how he started in the field of animal behaviour and talks about his career as a veterinarian while being involved in different research with dogs and horses. His greatest piece of advice to get there is to ask questions, explore and be curious. Daniel and Sabrina discuss what it means to be scientific or have a scientific attitude. He also shares how information can come from lots...

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