The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Improving animal welfare in China

University vets are contributing to efforts to improve animal care in China's zoos.

The first International China Veterinary Symposium brought together a group of 30 Chinese vets to discuss ways of improving the standard of veterinary care in the country.

The event, which took place at Beijing Zoo on 17-19 September, was arranged by the China Association of Zoological Gardens, which is responsible for regulating zoos in China.

The itinerary and guest speakers were provided by the charity Animals Asia and the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, which is part of the University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

The very existence of zoos can be a controversial topic, but by working together to promote animal welfare in a constructive and practical forum, we can improve the lives of many animals who realistically, will be permanently housed in zoo collections for the foreseeable future.

Heather Bacon Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager, University of Edinburgh

Improving care

In addition to providing veterinarians with the practical skills they need to improve animal health and disease control at their zoos, the workshop continuously emphasised the importance of improving animal welfare.

Topics covered included preventative medicine and animal mental health, while an interactive zoo animal pathology workshop was also used.

While the ethics of managing wild animals in captivity are often complex and sensitive, it is important to recognise the reality that many wild animals are permanently housed in zoological collections and the zoo veterinary community has a responsibility to manage their health and welfare effectively.

David Neale Animal Welfare Director, Animals Asia

Related links