Wild Animal Welfare Seminar 30.-31.10.2019

wild animal welfare seminar

Animal welfare can be defined as an animal’s psychological and physical state, which may vary from good to bad. Special attention has been paid to the welfare of farm and companion animals. However, human activities have wide impact on wild animal welfare. What should our responsibility be towards welfare of wild animals, and how to fulfill this responsibility in practice? These issues are brought up in the NordCAW (Nordic network for Communicating Animal Welfare) 2019 seminar Animal welfare for wild animals – conservation, rewilding, research & experimentation, rehabilitation, hunting, and other human activities.


Unioninkatu 33, Helsinki, Finland – N.B. The lecture hall is fully booked but the webstream option is still available (see below)

NordCAW and Finnish Centre for Animal Welfare in cooperation with HOH Helsinki One Health

NordCAW Seminar 2019

Contact info:
Satu Raussi, satu.raussi (at) luke.fi, tel. +358 50 4156 570
Tiina Kauppinen, tiina.kauppinen (at) luke.fi, tel. +358 44 3001 295

Follow the seminar by webcast:
Wed 30.10. https://vimeo.com/363774906
Thu 31.10. https://vimeo.com/363775171


Programme 30.10.2019 at 9:00 to 17:30

Webcast: https://vimeo.com/363774906

Opening words Finnish Centre for Animal Welfare (Tiina Kauppinen & Satu Raussi)


1. Eradication of wild animals for zoonotic/epizootic diseases and animal welfare. Welfare of invasive animal species, 9:10-10:30


Eradication of wild animals for zoonotic/epizootic diseases and animal welfare. Jørn Våge, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, NO


Culling a wild population for disease control – the Norwegian experience from CWD in reindeer. Jørn Våge, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, NO

Preventing rabies in Latvia-Russia border without killing raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Preventing African swine fever by eradication of wild boars (Sus scrofa) – what about the welfare of wild boars? Mārtiņš Seržants, Food and Veterinary Service of Republic of Latvia, LV

Invasive alien species as a vector of diseases and parasites – the role of the raccoon dog in the wildlife community. Kaarina Kauhala, Natural Resources Institute Finland, FI


2. Animal welfare in wildlife research and management. The 3Rs in wildlife research. Interface between wildlife research and wildlife management. Capture, tagging and sampling of animals for management and research, 10:40-12:00

3Rs in wildlife research and management. Johan Lindsjö, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare, SE

Development of welfare friendly follow-up methods in large carnivores. Ilpo Kojola, Natural Resources Institute Finland, FI

The 3Rs in Saimaa ringed seal studies. Mervi Kunnasranta, Natural Resources Institute Finland, FI

Wildlife Capture & Welfare – risk awareness and prevention of complications. Åsa Fahlman, Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE


3. Animal welfare aspects of wildlife conservation: captive breeding, rehabilitation and rewilding programs, 13:00-14:20

Wildlife rehabilitation in Lithuania. Benas Noreikis, Lithuanian Zoological Gardens, LI

Conservation of the European mink (Mustela lutreola) an animal welfare point of view. Lea Tummeleht, Estonian University of Life Sciences, EE

Oostvaardersplassen case. J.J.M. (Jacques) van Alphen, University of Amsterdam, NL

Welfare aspects of captive breeding and reintroduction programs. Lotta Berg, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare, SE


4. Hunting and animal welfare, 14:30-15:30

Ethical aspects of hunting. Erica von Essen, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE

Trapping and animal welfare – Behavioral assessment of trapped wild animals – Testing new traps for wildlife. Ulrika Alm Bergvall, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE

Training of dogs on wild animals in enclosures. Elina Åsbjer, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare, SE


16:00-17:30 Panel on wild animal welfare ethical issues

Panel experts including Erica von Essen, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE; Mikko Alhainen, The Finnish Wildlife Agency, FI & Heli Siitari, Finnish Hunters’ Association, FI; Chairman, Tiina Kauppinen, Finnish Centre for Animal Welfare, FI.

Programme 31.10.2019 at 9:00 to 13:00

Webcast: https://vimeo.com/363775171


1. Welfare of semi-domesticated captive animals, 9:00-10:00

Reindeer welfare during transport and slaughter: Norway and Sweden. Cecilie Mejdell, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, NO & Lotta Berg, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare, SE

Welfare of reindeers used for tourism in Finnish Lapland. Mikko Äijälä, University of Lapland, FI

Myanmar timber elephant welfare. Mirkka Lahdenperä, University of Turku, FI


2. The impact of climate change on wild animal welfare, 10:10-12:00

Human-wildlife conflict. Potential implications of a changing climate on human-polar bear conflict in Eastern Greenland and increases in human-elephant conflict in the greater Mara ecosystem in Kenya due to land-use changes. Stephen DeVincent, Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, USA

Climate change contributes to the spread of insect-transmitted filarioid nematodes, a threat to arctic cervids. Sauli Laaksonen, University of Helsinki, FI

Welfare aspects of birds’ adaptation to climate change. Animal welfare on bird migration studies. Aleksi Lehikoinen, Helsinki Lab of Ornithology, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, FI

Closing words and announcing a 2020 NordCAW seminar


Supplementary program in Finnish

31.10.2019 at 14:00 to 16:00

Verkkolähetys: https://vimeo.com/363775171

Paneelikeskustelu: Kansalainen luonnonvaraisen eläimen hyvinvointia edistämässä

Panel discussion (in Finnish): How citizens can enhance wild animal welfare?

Miten petojen kanssa tullaan toimeen? Pitääkö turistin huomioida luonnonvaraisten eläinten hyvinvointi? Entä ruokinta, pönttötalkoot hyönteishotellit – mitä kansalainen voi tehdä luonnonvaraisten eläinten hyvinvoinnin edistämiseksi?

  • Uusi eläinten hyvinvointilaki ja kansalaisten mahdollisuudet edistää luonnonvaraisten eläinten hyvinvointia. Tiina Pullola, eläinlääkintöylitarkastaja, maa- ja metsätalousministeriö
  • Suurpedot ja yhteiskunta: Kohti yhdessä olevaa suojelua. Anja Nygren, professori, Helsingin yliopisto
  • Tuppukylän turisti kohteessa! Turistin mahdollisuudet edistää luonnonvaraisten eläinten hyvinvointia. Mikko Äijälä, väitöskirjatutkija, Lapin yliopisto


Lotta Berg is a veterinarian by training, and currently employed as Professor (faculty chair) in Animal Environment and Health at the department of Animal Environment and Health at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden. Her research is mainly focused on farm animal welfare including health, behaviour and management aspects and preventive herd health for dairy and beef cattle, poultry, pigs, lamb and reindeer. Animal handling and equipment improvement, plus training of staff, in relation to animal welfare during transport and at slaughterhouses and on-farm killing, including emergency slaughter and depopulation for disease control purposes are other topics involved. Although she mainly focuses on farm animals, she is also involved in research related to companion and laboratory animal welfare, and wildlife. Animal welfare legislation, private animal welfare standards and official animal welfare control aspects also covered. She is teaching animal husbandry and animal welfare, including crisis preparedness and management, to veterinary students, animal science students and animal welfare inspector students and is part-time affiliated to the Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare (SCAW). As for wildlife, her interest was initially mainly related to wildlife in research situations, usually involving trapping or catching of wildlife, taking samples from them or keeping them in captivity for short periods of time before releasing them again. This has later been widened to cover also animal welfare aspects of various interventions in wildlife habitats, translocation, reintroduction and captive breeding programmes for various wildlife species including birds.

Stephen deVincent is a veterinarian and a master of arts in history and in law and diplomacy. He has studied in UK and USA and worked as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) science and technology fellow, a contractor to the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, and an advisor and a chair of the Karen Blixen Camp Trust. At the moment, he is a Faculty Fellow within the Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, USA.

Erica von Essen is a human-animal studies researcher working with changing interspecies relations in modernity and their practical manifestations in leisure, tourism, wildlife management and society at large. What is it that drives people to want to take slothselfies on holiday, go bow-hunting in Kazakhstan, and hate some animals and love others with identical charactistics? She is employed as an associate professor with the Division of Environmental Communication at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, having done her PhD on illegal hunting of large carnivores. Her principal research project looks at how new influences in hunting – new types of hunters, new game species, advanced technology and commodification – impact animal welfare and hunting ethics. Her research topics also involve a critical look at the way we govern invasive, feral, and out-of-place species and problem animals; the role of social movements for and against animal rights, animal-based tourism and the ‘embodied turn’ of experiencing wildlife, and the anthropology of hunting. One locus of inquiry in recent years has been the wild boar, which brings together several of her research tracts. She is teaching master’s programmes on Sustainable Development and Environmental Communication and supervising PhD students. She likes to work closely with the Swedish Hunting Associations in her research and is interested increasingly in EU-level wildlife issues.

Mervi Kunnasranta is a wild life biologist, best known for her work on conservation biology of the Saimaa ringed seal, but she has also studied other vertebrate species from both aquatic and terrestrial environments. In addition to scientific publications, she has written books, popular articles and scripts for nature documentary films. She completed her PhD in the University of Joensuu, Finland, and postdoctoral studies in the University of Alaska Southeast, USA. Currently she is the leader of the Ringed seal project of the University of Eastern Finland and works also as Senior Scientist with game animal  population monitoring issues in Natural Resources Institute Finland. Her talk in the seminar demonstrates how animal welfare issues are taken into account in research and conservation actions of the endemic Saimaa ringed seal population.

Aleksi Lehikoinen works as a curator in the Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki. He coordinates Finnish common bird monitoring schemes and leads his research group the Helsinki Lab of Ornithology. He did his PhD (2009, University of Helsinki) about how weather and food availability influence breeding and migration of birds. His main study topics are how environmental changes, such as climate change and habitat change, are impacting populations using national and international large-scale long-term bird data set. One of the main consequences of the climate change is that animal species are shifting their distributions towards poles and mountain tops due to moving climatic zones. In his talk in the seminar he will explain how fast these changes are and how do they affect individuals at different parts of their range.

Lea Tummeleht is sharing her occupation between the Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences at the Estonian University of Life Sciences and the Species Conservation Laboratory at the Tallinn Zoological Gardens. Her true passion lies in research based animal training, environmental enrichment and using those skills for supporting captive wild animal welfare as well as teaching enthusiastic human learners. She is consulting and teaching animal keepers in husbandry training, management and environmental enrichment, writing monthly environmental enrichment plans, organizing and teaching seminars and practical workshops regarding to positive reinforcement training, behaviour management and environmental enrichment topics. She has had the opportunity to be an editor and one of the co-authors of the first Animal Welfare textbook (2018) for high-schools in Estonian that is free for everyone. In the seminar in Helsinki she will introduce how positive reinforcement based training can be involved into conservation breeding practices. Endangered European minks (Mustela lutreola) at the Tallinn zoo provide an excellent model system for testing for any kind of questions about captive animal welfare.

Jørn Våge works as researcher in wildlife health at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Oslo. He is the Institutes coordinator and project leader for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Våge is a veterinarian (DVM), holds a PhD in molecular genetics and a BSc in biology. Apart from CWD research, wildlife health issues in general and tasks of contingency work of wildlife diseases, the role as CWD-coordinator is substantial in liaison activity towards governmental bodies responsible for regulation, animal disease and wild species management. At the seminar, Våge will consider wild animal welfare in the aspect of this issue, in a state of battling a complex, wildlife health threat, CWD.

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