The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education

Press releases

The Jeanne Marchig Centre has featured in a number of news articles, including the following:

Jan 2021

UK animal welfare charity Wild Welfare has launched a new, free, online animal husbandry programme, to support its global work challenging and improving welfare standards for captive wildlife.

The unique, open-access online programme Wild About Welfare, is produced in collaboration with Wild Welfare and The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE) at the University of Edinburgh, and makes animal welfare education available to anyone working with captive wildlife around the world.

The interactive resource addresses knowledge gaps that may result in captive animal suffering and gives animal care staff the tools they need to provide optimal welfare for animals living in captive facilities such as zoos, aquariums and wildlife centres.

In the media

Jan 2021

Heather Bacon, who has been with JMICAWE from the very beginning in 2011, has been given an OBE (Officer of the order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, in recognition of her work in veterinary education, animal welfare and charity work in the UK and abroad.  This is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed on a UK citizen, and is a wonderful and very well deserved recognition of the enormous amount of work that Heather has done, and continues to do, in the service of animal welfare. 

Oct 2020

A free online resource has been launched by the University of Edinburgh to mark Veterinary Nurses Day on Friday the 9th October.

Veterinary Nursing Skills provides vital insights into the principles and practice of nursing dogs and cats in a clinic setting. Content is provided by the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE) at the University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

The new resource, which is aimed at qualified and student veterinary nurses, will provide fresh perspectives on the interactions between nursing care, animal health and patient behaviour. Its content – also a valuable teaching tool for vet nursing lecturers – will highlight how focusing on these vital overlaps can improve patient welfare and clinical outcomes. Vet technicians and veterinary assistants are also expected to benefit from the new material, which includes video tutorials, downloadable fact sheets and interactive quizzes. Topics covered include clinical skills, patient handling and behaviour, wound management and bandaging, animal welfare and inpatient care. Registration is free via the University website. 

Demand for the resource has never been greater. There are some 15,000 registered veterinary nurses in the UK alone and an estimated 400 million cats and 500 million dogs worldwide. The Royal (Dick) School’s Welfare and Anaesthesia Nurse Hayley Walters, who teaches final year vet students, said the role of the veterinary nurse is being increasingly recognised. Ms Walters said the module was an attempt to address the fact that not all para-veterinary professionals have access to the same professional training resources.

This new resource aims to support vet nurses in providing the best clinical care and welfare for their patients no matter where in the world they work.

Knowledge and compassionate veterinary nurses improve patient welfare, so we want to share some of our educational and animal welfare expertise with a global audience, this new resource will help to promote the role of the veterinary nurse as a para-professional who is an essential part of the veterinary team.

Hayley WaltersJMICAWE Welfare and Anaesthesia Nurse

Related Links

Veterinary Nursing Skills Online Resource


Sept 2019


Cathy Dwyer

Professor Cathy Dwyer appointed as Chair of Scotland's first ever independent Animal Welfare Commission.

The Chair of Scotland’s first ever independent Animal Welfare Commission has been confirmed as Professor Cathy Dwyer, Director of the School's Jeanne Marchig International Centre of Animal Welfare Education. 

Announced as part of the Programme for Government, the Commission will focus on protecting wild and companion animals while also providing scientific and ethical advice to government.

The Commission, which will be chaired by Professor Cathy Dwyer will specifically look at:

  • how the welfare needs of sentient animals are being met by devolved policy
  • possible legislative and non-legislative routes to further protect the welfare of sentient animals
  • the research requirements to provide an evidence base for future policy development

Further information

April 2019

At the 2019 British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Congress, student Catriona Gillen and JMICAWE Outreach Manager, Heather Bacon were the recipients of awards.

News release (10 April 2019)

March 2019

"A team from The University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (R[D]SVS) has been playing a vital part in safeguarding the health and welfare of pangolins – the world’s most trafficked mammal."

Vet Times (14 March 2019)

April 2018

The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE) have developed a new dog welfare assessment app for trap-neuter-return programmes. Th app has been developed by EDINA, Heather Bacon and Louise Connelly (JMICAWE). It will launch in April 2018.

Further information about dog welfare from JMICAWE

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies news article

Vet Record (6 April 2018)

January 2018

Hayley Walters, The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education's Welfare & Anaesthesia Nurse, was made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours.

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies news article

Vet Times 'Congratulates VN for MBE'

9 November 2017

Welfare expert Jessica Martin has been named Young Poultry Person of the Year at the Egg and Poultry Industry Conference.

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies press release

BBC News, 23 October 2017

Heather Bacon (MRCVS) worked in collaboration with others, in Myanmar, to save bear.

Bear's giant tongue is removed by vets

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies press release



The Scotsman, Thursday 26 May 2011

Heather Bacon (MRCVS), who previously worked in Chengdu, China during the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake, has now joined the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.

Stackyard News, 25 May 2011

International animal welfare will be the focus of the animal welfare education centre, which has opened at the R(D)SVS.

STV News (Edinburgh & East), 19 May 2011

Animal welfare education centre has opened at the University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies to 'empower' vet students

Veterinary Record, May 28 2011

Madam Jeanne Marchig officially opened the new animal welfare centre on 19 May 2011.

Veterinary Times, Volume 42, Jan 30 2012

Andrew Knight gives his review of the recent Autumn conference held in Edinburgh.

The Sunday Statesman, July 08, 2012, Pg11

Professor Natalie Waran talks about the JMICAWE's efforts to ensure that veterinary graduates have animal welfare knowledge.

KVASU News, September 2012

JMICAWE’s Professor Nat Waran was recently joined by Prof Neil Sargison, in delivering the second British Council funded workshop on Production Animal Health and Welfare in Pookat, Kerala.

Edinburgh Global, October 2012

Heather Bacon, a University of Edinburgh vet is contributing to efforts to improve animal care in China’s zoos.