Animal Welfare Committee

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Background

AWC is a Standing Committee of IVSA which is written into the IVSA Bylaws, which is intended to address one of IVSA’s objectives, as stated in our Constitution, to “Actively support measures to improve the standard of animal welfare worldwide.“ AWC aims to increase the levels of awareness and education about animal welfare among veterinary students, while allowing them to form their own opinions. One way in which this can be done is by teaming up with various projects around the world that can be promoted to students. Modern media can also be used to show students the state of animal welfare around the world.

The Chairman of AWC should maintain regular contact with the Committee Coordinator of the ExCo of IVSA.

All binding sponsorship or partnership agreements are between IVSA and an external organization, not an IVSA committee and an external organization, so all such agreements must be agreed upon by the ExCo of IVSA (and perhaps, depending on the details of the agreement, the GA), but may be realised primarily through one or more IVSA committees.

Tasks

  • Promoting international and local organizations involved in animal welfare
  • Organizing animal welfare workshops, lectures, webinars, etc. at IVSA events or separately
  • Publishing articles about animal welfare in the IVSA newsletter and journal
  • Communicating with IVSA MOs to get them involved in animal welfare projects and exchanges of knowledge on animal welfare
  • Sending Committee members to events on animal welfare to collect information and contacts and disseminate information to IVSA members
  • Encouraging MOs to hold local events on animal welfare could be considered, and the creation of a set of guidelines to assist local OCs in this would be advisable if this is done
  • Organizing an annual global or regional (rotating?) Animal Welfare Congress could also be considered, possibly as a more long-term project, and probably involving one or more partner organizations to facilitate this

Within the Strategic Plan for the next 5 years, AWC’s section states that the committee should:

  • partner with one or several major global organizations working with animal welfare, e.g. World Animal Protection.
  • disclose at least two relevant publications on the topic of Animal Welfare from their partnering organizations to IVSA members during each term.
  • create at least one member benefit activity during the next five years as e.g. an allocated spot in a trainee program or scholarship, or discounts on conferences etc. for IVSA members, within the field of Animal Welfare.
  • publish at least one relevant article in the IVS journal per term.
  • deliver a report to the GA by the end of their term summarizing the activities of the committee, partnership relations, as well as achieved and unachieved goals.

Recommendations from the AWC of 2013-14:

  • If each IVSA MO had an Animal Welfare Officer, it would be easier to support local projects there and give funding to go to events on animal welfare there, in exchange for the writing of a report on the event
  • The AWC of 2013-14 worked with FVE, and report that a thinktank has been created and the help of FVE can be sought for AWC projects
  • The AWC of 2013-14 made contacts to create an international survey about animal welfare

The Structure of AWC

In 2013-14, AWC consisted of the following positions, in addition to the Chairman:

  • Vice Chair - takes over in the absence of the Chair, follows what the Chair does, contacts everyone for each AWC meeting, contacts IVSA members about AWC projects.
  • Secretary - takes summary minutes of AWC meetings, gathers important information for AWC emails
  • Internal PR - posts on facebook about what AWC does and worthwhile projects that AWC finds, writes short articles about AWC projects including for the IVSA newsletter (or finds someone to write a newsletter article)
  • External PR - looks for sponsors and contacts different companies, considers how to promote the image of AWC outside of IVSA
  • Education Officer - promotes animal welfare to students by conferences organised by IVSA MOs, one lecture during Congress/Symposium, documents on how to improve animal welfare in farms, zoos, veterinary hospitals, etc. Could also collect public articles about new research on animal welfare to keep our students and other followers up to date.

Committee Selection Procedures

At each IVSA Congress, a new Chairman will be elected. The Chairman should announce a call for Committee members by the first week of September, which should last until the end of September. This call should be published via social media (e.g. facebook page of committee), on the IVSA website and via an email to local Presidents and EOs through the MOD.

The applications could be created in Google Docs in order to be online and easier. Each applicant shall send their CV (including information on MO, previous positions, etc.) and a motivation letter containing information on relevant experience, reasons why they wish to be a part of the Committee, any specific aims or ideas they have regarding animal welfare or their potential role within the committee, etc.

During the screening process, all applicants under consideration to be selected will be forwarded to the ExCo for them to look through and give some input if necessary. It is recommended that candidates should only be a member of one IVSA Standing Committee. The MOD should certify that candidates are IVSA members. Then the Chairman selects the Committee’s members (an alternative would be using a selection committee - see SCOH’s Manual for details) and informs them by a formal letter (email) of acceptance. Interview of candidates by the Chairman via Skype is recommended when the Chairman cannot choose between candidates, if necessary.

The Committee should be fully formed by 15 October, and Committee membership will last until the following 31 August. Positions should be assigned to committee members by 30 October, with a clear role or set of tasks for each position.

The Running of AWC

AWC should aim to hold committee meetings online, perhaps once every 4-6 weeks, with the first committee meeting being held by 30 October.

The creation of an online schedule for committee members to state when their busy periods will be during the year (e.g. exams, holidays), so AWC work can ideally be organized around this, is recommended.

AWC should try to be visible at IVSA Congresses and Symposia, e.g. promotional material, lectures, workshops.

The official page of AWC in social media (Facebook) is: http://www.facebook.com/ivsaanimalwelfare

The official email address of AWC is: animalwelfare@ivsa.org

Costs

AWC has a budget of €500 for 2014-15, and there is an additional €500 reserved for use by IVSA Committees which AWC can request to use a portion of if necessary. All usage of Committee budgets must be approved by the ExCo of IVSA before any reimbursement is made.

Examples of budget items could include the printing of promotional materials and travel expenses for committee members to attend events on animal welfare or to attend meetings with (potential) partners.


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