Ep35 Mike Mendl on animal emotions, welfare and cognition

2021 ibuzz podcast Mar 20, 2021

Dr Mendl is a professor of animal behaviour and welfare at the Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol. His research focuses on cognition, emotion, development, individuality and social behaviour in domestic animals. 

Mike starts by introducing his background and giving some alternative options to start in the research field of animal behaviour and welfare aside from doing a PhD, postdoc, or fellowship. He then dives into the background of how he is working together with his collaborators studying emotions, welfare and cognition in animals. He presents the methods used to understand what animals are experiencing, and cognitive bias as an indicator of animal emotion and welfare.

Mike talks about his multiple research studies with different species of domestic animals, rats, and even bees, and the challenges of knowing whether emotion and affective states are consciously experienced in other species. Mike shares his results of a study of lateralized behaviour as an...

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Ep34 Gerry Creighton on elephants learning from elephants, research, and a dynamic approach to elephant care and wellbeing

2021 ibuzz podcast Mar 13, 2021

Gerry Creighton did not want to be anywhere else than at the zoo, working with and caring for animals, rising through the ranks to Zoo Operations Manager for animals and grounds in 2009. He worked at the Dublin Zoo, also together with his dad, for over 36 years. 

Gerry shares how he worked as a trainee keeper, before becoming a full-time zookeeper and Team Leader responsible for large apes, carnivores and elephants for nearly ten years before becoming Zoo Operations Manager for animals and grounds in 2009. 

Gerry shares details of the gorilla and mangabey habitat, will giant trees and natural vegetation, allowing the animals to browse as the seasons unfold. About the importance of natural substrates and activities that animals can engage in.

Gerry’s career has spanned several decades of exciting development, during which time Dublin Zoo has transformed from its Victorian beginnings in 1831 into a modern, vital and progressive European centre for conservation,...

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Ep33 Ron Kagan on pheromones, zoos as sanctuaries and exotic animal welfare and ethics

2021 ibuzz podcast Mar 06, 2021

Ron Kagan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) in the USA. 

Ron starts talking about his start in the zoo field and how he ended up in his current position and suggests for people starting out in the field to seek both academic studies and practical experience.

Ron shares with us a little about his first studies on pheromones in animal communication and thermoregulation in mammals.

He discusses the program he helped create at Michigan State University for people who want to go into the profession.  It was the first Bachelor of Science degree offered in Applied Zoo Science anywhere. 

Ron dives into the DZS’s Center for Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare and Ethics. Here, the current body of knowledge on animal welfare and ethics is freely accessible on-line for all zoo professionals. The center also engages in non-invasive research, convenes symposiums of experts, holds welfare workshops and recognizes advances in animal welfare and...

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Ep32 Joanne Thomas on the 5 Domains in strategy, animals as teachers guiding care, and punching above your weight for all to flourish

2021 ibuzz podcast Feb 28, 2021

Joanne Thomas is the Animal Care Manager at Wellington Zoo Trust (WZT) in New Zealand. Joanne shares her background, and big passion and love that is animal welfare. 

She started volunteering in a wide variety of places around the world to gain experience, working with a wide variety of species for over 30 years. 

For Joanne, the key is always being open and prepared to learn, and how animals are our teachers too.

Joanne talks about all her experience from agriculture and farming, to sanctuaries and zoos around the world. Despite all the challenging aspects of working in sanctuaries, she highlights that sometimes having a hard job, is a rewarding job.

Joanne shares how she ended up in the position of Animal Care Manager, and how much she loves the WZT values, with their passion and commitment to always ‘Punch above your weight every day. She dives into the philosophy of animal care and welfare at WZT, including looking after everything and everyone in the...

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Ep31 Monica Battini on assessing positive welfare in ruminants and promising indicators in the Five Domains

2021 ibuzz podcast Feb 20, 2021

Dr. Monica Battini is a Research Fellow at the Department of Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences in Milan, Italy, where she also received her PhD in animal welfare.

Monica shares experiences about her previous work researching welfare quality and welfare assessment protocols for different farming species, animal emotions, and communication among others. She dives into two European projects: Welfare Quality® (WQ) and Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN).

In WQ, protocols for cattle, pigs and poultry (broiler and hens) were developed and I collected data for the development of the protocol for dairy cows.  In AWIN, protocols were developed for small ruminants, equids and turkeys and she co-authored the protocol for goats.

Her advice to become an animal welfare scientist is to be curious, strong, and keep to achieving goals during the journey.

Monica talks about the importance of considering good welfare for farm animals, looking at positive indicators and the Five Domains...

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Ep30 Rebecca Ledger on the Five Domains Model for assessing suffering in cases of animal cruelty and the importance of bringing & bridging science into practice

2021 ibuzz podcast Feb 13, 2021

Dr. Rebecca Ledger is an animal behaviour and animal welfare scientist from Vancouver. Part of her work focuses on using behavioural assessments to assess animal welfare, and she has worked in the management of shelter dogs. She is regularly retained by humane societies, pet owners, and the Crown and Defence counsel across Canada to provide expert opinion in legal cases involving animal cruelty and animal behaviour.

Rebecca shares with us her rich background of experiences, her different jobs for universities, her consulting company, and the many years as a columnist, bringing animal welfare science to the general public. She enjoys teaching the most and talking to laymen scientific audiences about animal science. Rebecca talks about her studies and research mostly in companion animals, primarily dogs, with some cases revolving around cats.

Rebecca introduces us to her work as an animal expert in court, how she started, and some cases involving animal suffering. She states that...

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Ep29 Nicolas de Graaff on using the Five Domain Model in ZAA accreditation and the importance of asking questions

2021 ibuzz podcast Feb 06, 2021

Nicolas de Graaff has worked in the zoo industry for over 20 years and now he is the Accreditation Manager with the Zoo and Aquarium Association in Australia.

In this episode, Nicolas shares how he got started in the zoo field and how he came to the ZAA position, by being always flexible, open-minded, and working with his passion, joy, and commitment.

Nicolas brings to mind two rewarding and achieving histories about primates and recalls how all the experiences are a good way to learn from each other and together improve.

Nicolas introduces us to the implementation of animal welfare and legislation in Australia and New Zealand. He talks about his work facilitating the development and implementation of the ZAA Accreditation Program, which is primarily focused on the promotion of ‘positive’ welfare and based on the Five Domains Model. 

Nicolas presents the ZAA Accreditation program talking about the animal welfare assessments applying the Five Domains Model, details...

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Ep28 Sabrina Brando connects with animal welfare scientists & practitioners around the world to ask their top 3 considerations regarding animal welfare assessments

2021 ibuzz podcast Jan 30, 2021

Today's podcast is a combination of different animal welfare scientists from around the world, giving their perspectives, insights, and visions on animal welfare assessments. This podcast will feature:

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Ep27 Hannah Buchanan-Smith on evolutionary principles, learning from the wild, and making a case for positive change for animals

2021 ibuzz podcast Jan 23, 2021

Professor Hannah-Buchanan-Smith is the head of the Behaviour and Evolution Research Group, and Director of Human Animal Interaction Research Group in Psychology, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK.

Hannah introduces us to her work, the importance of understanding how animals have evolved, their capacities, and adaptations. She emphasizes that it is key to learn about how animals live in the wild to provide good captive conditions. She shares highlights from her research career such as why animals live in mixed-species groups, research on comparative colour vision, and animal welfare studies.

Hannah describes some early life experiences and encourages you to persevere in reaching your goals and not to give up. She tells us what she finds rewarding and keeps her motivated in her job.

Hannah and Sabrina discuss the important distinction between care and welfare. Hannah talks about continuous animal welfare assessments, and she presents in detail different approaches. For her, the key...

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Ep26 Amanda Embury on animal welfare assessments, teamwork, and continuous improvements

2021 ibuzz podcast Jan 16, 2021

In this episode Amanda Embury, whose career has spanned over 40 years in the fields of animal welfare and species management, shares insights on ongoing animal welfare assessments, teamwork and continuous improvements.

Amanda shares how she started her work in zoos, her study comparing behaviour of wild and zoo gibbons, and ongoing interest in enrichment and behaviour of zoo animals. She gives insights of her work in her current role as Senior Manager Animal Welfare and Life Sciences which leads the team that provides strategic directions for animal welfare, species planning, animal behaviour, training and enrichment.

This includes developing policies and key strategic documents such as frameworks for animal welfare and species planning, and tools to help assess practices including an Animal Welfare Survey and Species Assessment Tool.

Amanda shares snippets of the ongoing process of developing and maintaining an animal care and welfare program, founded on a code specifying criteria...

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