Finnish Research centre for animal welfare

Finnish Research centre for animal welfare The Research Centre for Animal Welfare (RCAW) is a multidisciplinary specialist community established in 2003 by animal welfare researchers from different faculties of the University of Helsinki.
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The winners of the Helsinki City Library’s writing competition have been selected. Our doctoral student, DVM Elli Valton...
02/03/2021
Puukki and Reinikka win the Helsinki City Library’s writing competition

The winners of the Helsinki City Library’s writing competition have been selected. Our doctoral student, DVM Elli Valtonen won the 3rd price in the adult category for Kanipäivä (”a Rabbit day”) a story with a margin and fresh narration of the challenges facing a veterinarian in the face of a rabbit apocalypse.

https://newsbeezer.com/finlandeng/puukki-and-reinikka-win-the-helsinki-city-librarys-writing-competition/

Puukki and Reinikka win the Helsinki City Library’s writing competition March 2, 2021 Entertainment 2 Views Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The winners of the Helsinki City Library’s writing competition have been selected, the City of Helsinki announced in a press release on M...

Our doctoral student, equine vet Kati Tuomola showed recently that bit-lesions are unfortunately common in trotting hors...
30/01/2021

Our doctoral student, equine vet Kati Tuomola showed recently that bit-lesions are unfortunately common in trotting horses. But which bit is the best (or worst). See infographics or check the answer below.
Link to the original article:
https://beva.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/evj.13401

(and yes, the answer: The occurrence of oral lesions was the most common in horses wearing a crescendo bit, a mullen mouth regulator bit or a straight plastic bit. However, lesions were observed regardless of the bit type)

Our doctoral student, equine vet Kati Tuomola showed recently that bit-lesions are unfortunately common in trotting horses. But which bit is the best (or worst). See infographics or check the answer below.
Link to the original article:
https://beva.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/evj.13401

(and yes, the answer: The occurrence of oral lesions was the most common in horses wearing a crescendo bit, a mullen mouth regulator bit or a straight plastic bit. However, lesions were observed regardless of the bit type)

Our researchers found that the piglets that had access to chewable materials from birth made more contact with the sow d...
13/01/2021
Access to chewable materials during lactation affects sow behaviour and interaction with piglets

Our researchers found that the piglets that had access to chewable materials from birth made more contact with the sow during lactation, but still the sow performed less stress-related behaviour. This is at least partly due to the piglets being less harmful in their biting behaviour causing less pain and discomfort for the sow.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168159120302628?via%3Dihub

We investigated how providing chewable materials to piglets during the early weeks of life affect sow behaviour, sow and piglet interaction and sow he…

Virtual celebration! The Finnish Academy Strategic Research Council funded prof Anna Valros and Dr Laura Hänninen with 0...
14/11/2020

Virtual celebration! The Finnish Academy Strategic Research Council funded prof Anna Valros and Dr Laura Hänninen with 0,5milj €! Their project is part of Research Director Kati Rantala´s 3.5milj € consortium addressing the need to broaden the knowledge base of legislative drafting to include perspectives of those with very few means to participate in the knowledge production that informs law drafting, including animals. We call them silent agents because others speak about them and for them.
https://www.aka.fi/en/strategic-research/strategic-research/strategic-research-in-a-nutshell/programmes-and-projects/literacy/sile/

We followed the the rehoming of laboratory dogs - the first of its kind in Finland. The rehoming process was started wit...
05/10/2020
First rehoming of laboratory dogs in Finland was successful but required a great deal of work | University of Helsinki

We followed the the rehoming of laboratory dogs - the first of its kind in Finland. The rehoming process was started with months of practising basic pet dog skills with the dogs and by familiarising them with the world outside the laboratory. The practice period lasted from four to six months, depending on the dog. Generally speaking, the new owners have been extremely happy about their new pets, but some dogs did have some separation anxiety and house-soiling at home.

https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/life-science-news/first-rehoming-of-laboratory-dogs-in-finland-was-successful-but-required-a-great-deal-of-work

Researchers at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Helsinki monitored the success of rehoming 16 laboratory beagles in 2015–2018

The court in Finland does not perceive the violations of farm animal welfare as being very blameworthy, because the sanc...
21/04/2020
Evaluation of Criminal Sanctions Concerning Violations of Cattle and Pig Welfare

The court in Finland does not perceive the violations of farm animal welfare as being very blameworthy, because the sanctions were mild despite the nature and extended duration of violations. https://www.mdpi.com/695480

EU legislation requires the violations of animal welfare standards to be sanctioned. Our aim was to evaluate criminal sanctions concerning violations of cattle and pig welfare on Finnish farms. We analyzed 196 court cases heard in Finnish district courts from 2011 to 2016. Almost all the cases (95%)...

We found that the Finnish official veterinarians working in the field of animal welfare control perceive their work as m...
19/02/2020
Veterinarians Experience Animal Welfare Control Work as Stressful

We found that the Finnish official veterinarians working in the field of animal welfare control perceive their work as meaningful because they can influence the welfare of animals, but at the same time, they often experience work-related stress and fatigue. The underlying causes of stress were identified as threatening situations, such as death threats, assaults, and disturbance of domestic peace, high frequency of overtime work, disturbed work–private life balance, and the inconvenience of working alone.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00077/full?utm_source=F-NTF&utm_medium=EMLX&utm_campaign=PRD_FEOPS_20170000_ARTICLE#T1

The aim of the study was to evaluate the job satisfaction of official veterinarians working in the field of animal welfare control and identify both positive features and challenges of their work. An electronic questionnaire was designed to evaluate job satisfaction. The questionnaire was responded....

Yes! We got a new person on board, when Peter Krawczel is starting as an associate professor in animal welfare. Welcome ...
17/01/2020
Peter Krawczel starting as an associate professor in animal welfare at the Helsinki One Health network | University of Helsinki

Yes! We got a new person on board, when Peter Krawczel is starting as an associate professor in animal welfare. Welcome Peter!
https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/life-science-news/peter-krawczel-starting-as-an-associate-professor-in-animal-welfare-at-the-helsinki-one-health-network

Peter Krawczel from the University of Tennessee (US) has been appointed associate professor in animal welfare in the Helsinki One Health research network.

More species to work with :-). PhD Marianna Norring got a grant from the Finnish ministry of agriculture and forestry to...
17/01/2020

More species to work with :-). PhD Marianna Norring got a grant from the Finnish ministry of agriculture and forestry to evaluate how and where rabbits are and could be kept in Finland, and to estimate the effects of different housing and management types on rabbit welfare in our climate.
(Photo by Gerrie van der Walt on Unsplash)

Researchers from all over the Nordics are joining their forces on wild animal welfare issues. Follow NordCAW 2019 on lin...
29/10/2019
Luonnoneläinten hyvinvointi kiinnostaa kansainvälisesti - Eläintieto.fi

Researchers from all over the Nordics are joining their forces on wild animal welfare issues. Follow NordCAW 2019 on line straming ⁦‪now on Wed and Thu! https://www.elaintieto.fi/blogi/luonnonelainten-hyvinvointi-kiinnostaa-kansainvalisesti/

Helsingissä 30. – 31.10. järjestettävässä NordCAW-seminaarissa alan ammattilaiset ympäri pohjoismaita pohtivat, miten luonnoneläinten hyvinvointi varmistetaan.

Our doctoral student Kati Tuomola found that more than 80% of trotters had lesions in the mouth area affected by the bit...
16/08/2019
Yliopistollinen eläinsairaala

Our doctoral student Kati Tuomola found that more than 80% of trotters had lesions in the mouth area affected by the bit when examined after a race.

Kati says that oral examinations require a headlamp and nimble hands, but other than that the procedure is fairly easy. Examining the mouth only takes a couple of minutes!

With the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, trotting races are held in Finland every day of the year. Veterinarian and doctoral student Kati Tuomola found that more than 80% of trotters had lesions in the mouth area affected by the bit when examined after a race.

Kati Tuomola encourages the caretaker or the trainer to examine the horse’s mouth weekly.

“Oral examinations require a headlamp and nimble hands, but other than that the procedure is fairly easy. Examining the mouth only takes a couple of minutes,” Tuomola says.

Our researchers show here that soft tissue oral lesions in the bit area were a common finding after a race performance i...
13/07/2019
Oral Lesions in the Bit Area in Finnish Trotters After a Race: Lesion Evaluation, Scoring, and Occurrence

Our researchers show here that soft tissue oral lesions in the bit area were a common finding after a race performance in Finnish trotters examined (over 80% of the inspected horses). Lesions are easily left unnoticed, since they are inside the mouth and usually do not bleed.
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2019.00206/full

Oral mucosal lesions in the bit area are common in horses, but not comprehensively studied in harness racing horses. This study describes the type and occurrence of oral mucosal lesions in the area affected by the bit, hereafter called the bit area, in trotters after a race. Based on our results, we...

Our researchers analysed the Finnish animal welfare inspection data, and found that about every fourth inspected Finnish...
29/05/2019
Assessment of Welfare Problems in Finnish Cattle and Pig Farms Based on Official Inspection Reports

Our researchers analysed the Finnish animal welfare inspection data, and found that about every fourth inspected Finnish cattle and pig farm did not comply with the animal welfare standards. Factors that increased the risk of non-compliance were small herd size, tie-stall housing and outdoor rearing. Inadequate lying area in cattle farms and a lack of enrichment material in pig farms were the most common non-compliances. The regional differences found may indicate differences in inspectors’ interpretations or ways in conducting inspections. As the official inspection reports contain valuable information about the welfare problems on farms, the reports should be better utilized in risk analysis, in targeting farmer education, and in making the inspections more uniform.

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/5/263/htm

The competent authorities of the Member States of the European Union are required to perform animal welfare inspections on livestock farms. The data obtained from these official inspections performed in Finnish cattle and pig farms in 2010–2015 were used with the aim of estimating the prevalen...

We are participating an interesting new research network at Helsinki Uni, HOH Helsinki One Health. This network is encou...
28/05/2019
Helsinki One Health | University of Helsinki

We are participating an interesting new research network at Helsinki Uni, HOH Helsinki One Health. This network is encouraging various disciplines and professions to work together to resolve emerging health and welfare problems concerning animal and human populations worldwide. Follow on twitter @HelsinkiOne
https://www.helsinki.fi/en/one-health

Profile 15.5.2019 Health news Tarja Pääkkönen appointed the first assistant professor of the Helsinki One Health research network Helsinki One Health, a network organisation focused on human and animal health, appointed Tarja Pääkkönen, specialist in veterinary medicine,...

Our researchers with their Swedish and Danish colleagues were first to assess sleep distribution during a lactation cycl...
11/04/2019
Rapid eye movement sleep time in dairy cows changes during the lactation cycle

Our researchers with their Swedish and Danish colleagues were first to assess sleep distribution during a lactation cycle in cattle, and showed that stage of lactation is important to consider when moving forward with sleep investigations in dairy cows. They found the shortest REM sleep duration for cows 2 wk after calving and longest 2 wk before

https://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(19)30314-5/fulltext

The importance of rest and sleep is well established; we know, for example, that lack of sleep impairs immune function in rats and increases pain sensitivity in humans. However, little is known about sleep in dairy cows, but a lack of rest and sleep is discussed as a possible welfare problem in catt...

Our researchers showed that Finnish farmers had strong negative attitudes towards beak trimming. This study underlines t...
27/02/2019
Feather Pecking and Cannibalism in Non-Beak-Trimmed Laying Hen Flocks—Farmers’ Perspectives

Our researchers showed that Finnish farmers had strong negative attitudes towards beak trimming. This study underlines the importance of flock management, especially lighting and feeding, in preventing pecking problems and indicates that it is possible to incorporate a non-beak-trimming policy into sustainable egg production. Pecking-related problems are common in intensive egg production, compromising hen welfare, causing farmers economic losses and negatively affecting sustainability. These problems are often controlled by beak trimming, which in Finland is prohibited.
https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/2/43

Pecking-related problems are common in intensive egg production, compromising hen welfare, causing farmers economic losses and negatively affecting sustainability. These problems are often controlled by beak trimming, which in Finland is prohibited. An online questionnaire aimed to collect informati...

Our paper was featured as a cover of Animals - journal! Lovely photo by our vet student Sini Merikallio. In the photo he...
18/12/2018

Our paper was featured as a cover of Animals - journal! Lovely photo by our vet student Sini Merikallio. In the photo her course mate Elina Lehinsalo and cow Jänöliini (Little bunny). Open access here: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/8/12/220

Come and work with us as a tenure or full PROFESSOR IN ANIMAL WELFARE! This is a joint position between the Faculties of...
17/12/2018
Assistant Professor / Associate Professor / Professor in Animal Welfare, HOH Helsinki One Health | Helsingin yliopisto

Come and work with us as a tenure or full PROFESSOR IN ANIMAL WELFARE!
This is a joint position between the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry and the Veterinary Medicine in collaboration with the Natural Resources Institute Finland .
https://www.helsinki.fi/fi/avoimet-tyopaikat/assistant-professor-associate-professor-professor-in-animal-welfare-hoh-helsinki-one-health

The University of Helsinki is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. HOH Helsinki One Health is a new network organizatio...

As veterinary students face several ethical challenges during their curriculum, our teacher-researchers surveyd if the a...
26/11/2018
Animal Ethical Views and Perception of Animal Pain in Veterinary Students in Finland | University of Helsinki

As veterinary students face several ethical challenges during their curriculum, our teacher-researchers surveyd if the animal ethical views of Finnish veterinary students were changed during their education, and if education had an effect on how students evaluate the level of pain perception in different animal species. Our researchers found that the appreciation of pain perception of different animal species, and especially of those taxonomically further away from humans, increases during veterinary studies, but animal ethic views were influenced only to a small degree. From the beginning to the end of vet studies, the Finnish veterinary students have a clear domination of utilitarian views in animal ethics (roughly defined as ethical judgements being based on a strive to maximize the human and non-human animal welfare).

https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/teaching-studying-at-the-university/animal-ethical-views-and-perception-of-animal-pain-in-veterinary-students-in-finland

We surveyed the animal ethical views of Finnish veterinary students, and also asked them to score the level of pain perception in different animal species.

Group housing of gestating sows benefits their welfare by allowing them freedom of movement and the opportunity for soci...
21/11/2018

Group housing of gestating sows benefits their welfare by allowing them freedom of movement and the opportunity for social interaction. However, social life could also bring disadvantages for individuals who receive direct aggression or are displaced from the feeder. Our researchers suggest that submissive sows or sows with low body condition need special attention with regard to group dynamics and housing to alleviate the effects of competition in group housing.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/animal/article/body-condition-live-weight-and-success-in-agonistic-encounters-in-mixed-parity-groups-of-sows-during-gestation/D940B3ED3D196ACE524942904F10C2E3

New animal welfare legislation in Finland will most likely ban disbudding of calves without proper pain medication. Howe...
09/10/2018
Healthier and safer sedation methods for calves during disbudding - project starts | University of Helsinki

New animal welfare legislation in Finland will most likely ban disbudding of calves without proper pain medication. However, hardly any research exist on the use of multi-modal sedatives on young pre-ruminant calves. Our researchers started a project, funded by The Finnish ministry of agriculture and forestry , aiming at finding safer and healthier sedation methods for calves.

https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/science-news/healthier-and-safer-sedation-methods-for-calves-during-disbudding-project-starts

New animal welfare legislation in Finland will most likely ban disbydding of calves without proper pain medication. However, hardly any research exist on the use of multi-modal sedatives on young preruminant calves. The Finnish ministry of agriculture and forestry funded a project at the Faculty of....

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Hey I research in interaction design with animals, mostly dogs. Myself and Heli Väätäjä are running a panel in April within Helsinki as part of the Finnish Human-Animal Studies seminar called Animal Participation, Consent & Empowerment within Technology Systems. If you are interested in animal-tech and taking part there is more information to be found in Finnish and English here: https://elaintutkimus.wordpress.com/call-for-papers-2019/?fbclid=IwAR3HjwCJ29dm5j4c3mrT20R8bZVkq_8OBizDVE7b9GojM8tw3yGaXtg3Rwc … but you can also email and/or inbox me :). Please share this also with anyone who you think would be interested - Thanks!
PLEASE LOOK AT HIS MAN - IF YOU KNOW HIM - HELP PROSECUTE