The contribution of blended learning in the promotion of farm animal welfare

Roger Cutting
Presentation date

In Western industrialised nations, within the domain of education and training, digital is now the default, where emerging technologies have increased connectedness to such a degree that they have driven a significant transformation in pedagogical methodologies. This is primarily due to the ease of access to smartphones and other connected personal devices. As a result, the constraints of location and time are no longer great barriers to learning, with learning possible to access in any mode and almost in any place and at any time. For geographically large countries such as China, these technologies can link the national to the international, connect city to city and the urban to the rural.

This paper will review existing blended learning approaches and how technology has influenced pedagogical approaches to teaching and training around animal welfare. A key component in the design of online learning resources is that it facilitates active design, production and of content. This can be shared in numerous formats, including text, images, sound, video, and online seminars and discussions, all of which are easily disseminated to potentially huge audiences. Such a ‘connected pedagogy’ also relies on establishing an environment that is characterised by meaningful engagement, problem-based learning, and peer-evaluation. The paper will review the approaches to be adopted by the Donkey Sanctuary on its learning platform and will demonstrate the design and implementation of and learning and training resources with specific reference to animal welfare and biosecurity.

The presentation concludes by placing animal welfare within the context of formal, moral education in China and how the philosophical and historical influences of Confucianism and Socialism have presented, as a key component, the maintenance of harmony between living and natural environments. This has made China an active promoter of sustainable development, an aspiration to which blended learning has much to contribute.


Space-based technology and One Health: delivering an integrated approach

Joe Ryding
Presentation date

Africa has a median age of 19 and 444 million unique mobile subscribers. In this paper we suggest ways to utilise space-based technology, such as mobile, for positive animal welfare impact within a One Health framework. One Health as a concept is the understanding that “human health and animal health are interdependent and bound to the health of the ecosystems in which they exist” (OIE, 2019). Through using interoperable platforms and tools for collecting, analysing and disseminating information, space-based technology can provide a link between animal welfare, wildlife and environmental conservation that helps increase our understanding of the relationships between these different disciplines, facilitating the One Health approach.

This paper describes how The Donkey Sanctuary uses global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), accessed through a mobile device, to determine the geolocation of animal welfare assessment data. This includes the software, platforms and products used. We concentrate on open-source or low cost solutions that are suitable for resource constrained environments such as those found in many parts of Africa.

We also present methods for analysing multiple data sets linking animal welfare, wildlife and environmental conservation, such as disease outbreaks or wildlife populations combined with remote sensing products (e.g. climate indicators or socioeconomics) to investigate significant relationships and act as a diagnostic aid. We outline our use of space-based technology from collection, publication, uptake, through to impact, including the challenges associated with such an approach.

Space-based technology has the potential to improve our understanding of animal welfare across Africa within a One Health framework. We have shown how the collection of welfare assessment data on mobile devices can be integrated with other space-based technologies to provide insights and actionable results. The rapid change and growth of space-based technology means we need to be agile in our approach to the changing nature of data.

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