Newsletter – December 2016

Learning About Animals was set up to provide information and promote interest in the welfare and behaviour of animals. The aim is to bridge the gap between professionals  & scientists working with animals and the public.

If you have any suggestions for future events, if you would like to be considered to be a speaker, or if you would like to get involved in helping at the events, or projects please get in touch.


Research Round-up

1. Learning makes animals intelligent (let’s hope that’s true for humans too!) LINK

2. Studying alarm responses in fish LINK

3. Research into cat’s tongues - amazing pictures LINK

4. How moods and emotions affect the decision making of pigs LINK

5. Why do sea birds eat plastic? LINK












More events on the website at www.learningaboutanimals.co.uk

Just in case you missed it - a selection of some of the LAA Facebook posts since the last Newsletter

1. Dogs don't forget.... (is the catchy title for this research but for the geeks like me 'Dogs have episodic memory' is much more engaging!) LINK

2. The EBTA (Equine Behaviour and Training Association) newsletter is now out LINK

3. Can dogs tell the time? "One theory is that dogs “tell time” by using their sense of smell. They keep track of how much particular scents fade, and remember that specific things happen when a scent reaches a certain level of faintness." Read this article for more information. LINK

4. Powerful article on brachycephalic dogs LINK

5. Interesting research aiming to better understand attractive behavioural traits in shelter dogs to try to increase rehoming rates but I'm concerned because other studies have shown that the behavioural traits dogs show in shelters do not match those seen post-adoption. LINK

6. Pretty amazing footage of a humpback whale 'saving' a seal by giving him/her a ride! LINK Check out the scientific paper behind the video "Humpback whales interfering when mammal-eating killer whales attack other species: Mobbing behavior and interspecific altruism?" at LINK

7. The October 2016 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science presents an entire special issue dedicated to exploring all that psychological scientists have learned about dog behavior and cognition in recent years. Current Directions in Psychological Science is a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The table of contents can be reached through here.

Good News Stories from 2016


1. This video shows Asha the elephant happy in her new home after her whole 46 years in hard work for tourists. LINK

2. Innovative programme for community dogs in Nepal is starting to work LINK

3. The eleven orcas in captivity in California will be the last LINK

4. Rare story of a species in the wild making a great recovery LINK

 5. Trip Advisor to stop selling tickets to cruel attractions. LINK


 6. Mink Mink Farming ended in Japan! The breeding of mink for their fur ended as the country's last remaining fur farm shut down. LINK


 7. Another animal sacrifice festival has been banned in Vietnam LINK.


8. Successful petitions:

- Krill are tiny shrimp-like creatures and a cornerstone of the Antarctic food chain. Hundreds of marine creatures like whales, penguins, and seals rely on them krill for survival. Earlier this year, a petition was successful in causing Sainsburys to stop selling a product made from krill oil. A huge step towards protecting the pristine Antarctic from companies that are greedily looking to profit off crucial natural resources. Petitions can work if they are targeted, realistic and communicated well. Two more examples from 2016:


- Beavers in Scotland are going to be protected by law. The news comes after more than 35,000 of us  signed a petition calling for the Scottish environment minister to stop these creatures being shot willy-nilly. LINK


- The end has come for the sale of eggs from caged hens in Morrisons and Asda LINK


9. More young people are watching Planet Earth II than reality singing shows LINK

Consultation skills workshop. Surrey. DETAILS

Communication skills for animal professionals. Bucks. DETAILS

Exploring play in dogs with Amber Batson. Wiltshire,  details coming soon.

Multi-dog households with Sian Ryan. Surrey, DETAILS.

Suggestions for talks?

Any suggestions for speakers you’d like to see in 2017?

Want to run a workshop yourself?

Do get in touch.


Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare Community Resource

Check out this website - it is changing all the time with updates. Join the mailing list at info@hbcanimalwelfare.com



To do list

1. In the run up to the festive season you might be doing some online shopping. And it would be very cool if you could donate even just one 'shop's worth of credit to the Aquarium Welfare Association by choosing us here.

2. Train your dog to find money! LINK

3. Petition to sign to make Britain truly fur free LINK




I am IAABC certified - a ‘Certified Horse Behaviour Consultant’ or CHBC.

I run behaviour consultations to help people with concerns about their horse’s behaviour. I also run behaviour lessons for people who are just interested in learning more in a practical way - like a riding instructor but learning about the practical application of behaviour knowledge, tailored to you and your horse. Please get in touch to find out more - suzanne@learningaboutanimals.co.uk.  


Make sure you’ve ‘liked’ us on Facebook and to keep seeing the posts you need to tick ‘get notifications’ and regularly ‘like’ or share posts LINK

Charity Christmas Gifts

1. Born Free’s adoption packs have loads of great stuff in and support a wonderful charity. LINK


2. Lots of lovely whale things at the WDC shop LINK

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