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.
1. First observations of a rare whale species LINK
2. Naked mole rats aren’t as inbred as thought LINK
3. I love the title of this news article - worth a read just for that LINK
Including: - Chicken behaviour - Equine emotions with Jo Hughes - Animal Wefare: The
Human Element (conference)
Just in case you missed it - a selection of some of the LAA Facebook posts since
the August Newsletter
1. One of the things that frustrates me hugely on Facebook is videos of animals that
are perceived as doing something 'cute' when a cursory understanding of animal behaviour
would make you question that interpretation and know that the 'cute' behaviour is
more likely to be fear-based. Tickling lorises for example. LINK
2. "The louder the monkey the smaller its balls" - is the conclusion of a howler
monkey study (got to love the picture of howler monkeys howling). I can't help but
hypothesise about the correlation between the noise some animal trainers make about
their skills and how that might relate to ball size or metaphorical ball size for
3. Brilliant experiment exploring how animals override their habits - I somehow missed
this when it came out in April 2014 but worth a read LINK
What is your dog trying to tell you?
I recently gave a talk at the Holistic Horse and Hound Show about what dogs need
to be happy and how to tell if they are not. It reminded me that one of my (many!)
soap box subjects is that many dogs could be a little happier at home with a few
easy changes in their care. Also so many dogs are misunderstood due to culturally
sustained misinterpretations of common dog body language, if we can help to spread
the word about what dogs are really trying to tell us we can end the perpetuation
of harmful myths.
- This online dog body language course is worth consdering-LINK - only 30 USD (£19)
and all online.
The First International Conference on Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare will
take place in September 2016. A common response from people upon learning I am organising
a conference on human behaviour change for animal welfare is “Great, sounds interesting.
What does that mean?” This blog explores the different elements of human behaviour
change and why many of us working in animal welfare believe that we can benefit from
learning about human, as well as animal, behaviour. LINK
The conference will be of interest to anyone working to improve the lives of animals
whether working with individual people, specific communities or aiming for mass change.
Consider submitting an abstract to present a talk or poster at the conference, we
welcome abstracts from individuals as well as organisations and charities. See the
website for more information. LINK TO CONFERENCE WEBSITE
SATURDAY /SUNDAY 28/29 NOVEMBER (WEEKEND) Thinking Horsemanship Weekend - SomersetDETAILS
SUNDAY 24TH JANUARY First aid certificate for horse people DETAILS
THURSDAY 28th JANUARY (evening) Cats are cool: exploring feline behaviour DETAILS
WEEKEND 6-7TH FEBRUARY Change - for trainers and behaviourists DETAILS
SATURDAY 20TH FEBRUARY Small furry animal behaviour DETAILS
Gift vouchers available for talks and events
Just email for more information -firstname.lastname@example.org
2. A new poll shows that Icelanders are eating less whale meat than they have in
a decade, and less than half support the hunting of fin whales. LINK
3. Switzerland becomes first country to ban draw reins in show jumping... a pair
of reins that are attached to a horse's saddle or girth and pass through the bit
rings to the rider's hands forcing the head into a position that is considered to
look good. Yay Switzerland! LINK
4. Dogs bred on a dog meat farm in South Korea have started their new lives with
families in the USA. LINK
1. Article about the difficulties of tracking eels. LINK
1. A recent report entitled “Non-Commercial Horse Transport: Safety and Standards”
has recently been published LINK. Readers are asked to write to their respective
equine associations, equine transport dealers, and others to support the effort of
the internationally accredited Canadian Standards Association (email@example.com).
2. Educate - spread the word about modern compassionate animal training. The myths
that dogs and horses in particular need to be ‘dominated’ results in their physical
and psychological suffering. A great resource explaining why humans do not need to
be ‘pack leaders’ is this website http://www.dogwelfarecampaign.org/
3. Sign this petition to ban exotic wild animal acts in Idaho USA LINK
4. It’s getting cold - rescues appreciate extra spare blankets for the animals in
their care so drop some off next time you pass your local rescue.
5. Start to think about feeding your garden birds this winter. The RSPB webpages
have lots of useful information. LINK
Animal Welfare Network Nepal (AWNN) This network is doing amazing things for animals
in Nepal. The members, facilitated by Manoj Gautam, have made a long list of impressive
changes including bringing an end to the horrific Gadhimai festival in which hundreds
of thousands of animals were slaughtered in a festival once every five years. Don’t
be put off by the look of the website, it is an amazing inspiring effective network
worthy of support. LINK
The PAW report - rabbits
Nearly 700,000 rabbits live alone in the UK according to the 2015 Paw Report.
97% of veterinary professionals believe that
rabbit hutches smaller than a recommended
size should be banned from sale.
Rabbits that eat rabbit muesli as a main source of food are significantly fewer
in number from 49% in 2011 to 29% (muesli is an inappropriate feed for rabbits).
Check out the link for a video launching the #PawsFirstcampaign to try to encourage
people to think more carefully about animal ownership and you can download the report
from this link.
In February 2016 Dr Anne McBride will be giving a day’s talk on small furry animal
behaviour. Book now, Anne is a fantastic speaker.