On July 14 and 15, the first Conference of the Scientific Network on Animal Welfare (CIBA Network) was held, which took place under the slogan ‘Share, connect and weave Southwest Europe’s research on animal welfare’, together with the meeting of the International Society of Applied Ethology (ISAE – Southwest Europe Region), at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), with the participation of 74 attendees.
At the opening ceremony, there were Maite Martindean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Autonomous University; Ricard Parespresident of the Council of Veterinary Associations of Catalonia (CCVC); Emma Fabregasecretary of ISAE – Southwest Europe Region and Pol Llonchpresident of the CIBA Network.
The scientific activity was articulated around two keynote speeches, two workshops and three sessions in which 20 oral communications were presented and several intervals focused on the presentation of the 22 posters.
The first of the plenary sessions was carried out by Garcia Pinillos which was about ‘One Welfare’ (One Welfare). In it, he recalled that animal welfare is a pillar of the One Welfare general framework, but that they are two different concepts, not interchangeable. After briefly presenting the five sections that make up One Welfare as well as some specific projects (One Welfare Phoenix), he encouraged collaboration among experts so that global challenges are addressed jointly in the ‘One Health’ and ‘One Health’ frameworks. just wellness’.
The two workshops were held in parallel. The one related to the movement for Open Science (Open Science) was taught by Anna Olson (University of Porto, Portugal) and Emma Fàbrega (IRTA, Spain). In it, attendees were encouraged to present their vision of this new movement and its characteristics. The characteristics of the articles were analyzed before and after being reviewed for publication (preprint, postprint), the ways in which they can be used without compromising the researchers’ commitments to the different institutions with which they are related, and the advantages and drawbacks of this new way of approaching scientific communication.
The second workshop of the Conference was proposed and coordinated by Professor Christian Rutz (School of Biology, University of St. Andrews) and focused on the STRANGE methodological framework, designed to help scientists identify, mitigate, and document bias in animal behavioral research and associated research domains. In many laboratory studies and field studies, when behavioral tests are used on subjects, these biases can be unintentionally carried over, which impact the transparency for the reproducibility of the studies. During the workshop, through examples (case studies), the components of STRANGE and the urgent need for support from scientific publishers were reviewed. From the organization of the Red CIBA-ISAE Conference, the scientific community is encouraged to use this methodology to reduce bias and improve research excellence.
The second of the keynote presentations, entitled ‘From emotions to the affective state of animals. Is there a theoretical framework for the study of the mental health of animals?’, was given by Elodie Chaillou (INRAE, France). In it, he analyzed the difference between emotions and well-being, the definition of animal welfare presented by the French National Agency for Sanitary Safety of Food, Environment and Work (ANSES) in 2018, in which the mention of the state is fundamental positive mental health of animals and raised whether the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) may be relevant to studying the mental health of farm animals.
As for the oral communications, they were divided into three sessions, the first on indicators to assess animal welfare, the second on the improvement of relationships between animals, people and the environment and the third on new technologies and approaches to improve animal welfare. The different presentations and posters presented during the conference served to confirm the quality of science in animal welfare that is developed in Spain.
At the end of the scientific meeting, the assembly of the CIBA Network took place, in which the activities of the last year and treasury were presented, and the projects underway and planned for the future were presented, accepting the assembly that the following Conferences will be carried out at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of León in 2023.