Free RSPCA online seminar to explore climate change and animal welfare

TOP academics, researchers, and non-government organisations from across Australia and overseas will participate in the RSPCA’s 2022 Animal Welfare online seminar, which will examine the devastating impacts of climate change on animal welfare.

The two-day seminar, from 16-17 February, will also talk about approaches to managing animals in disasters, and adaptations and actions required to help address climate change and build resilience.

RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell said that the impact of climate change on animal welfare is impossible to ignore.

“Whether it’s extreme weather events, prolonged droughts, fires or floods, there’s no question that climate change affects a countless number of animals.

“RSPCA’s 2022 Animal Welfare Seminar will explore the impact of climate change across all animal sectors – including wildlife, farm animals and our pets,” Mr Mussell said.

The RSPCA is Australia’s leading animal welfare organisation and one of Australia’s most trusted charities and works to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.

“This seminar is not just about raising awareness of the impact of climate change on animals, but also about learning from each other how we can all play a part in mitigating this impact and building resilience.

“We are very pleased to bring together an experienced and engaging line-up of speakers, as well as an NGO panel featuring organisations with direct, on-the-ground experience in these areas.”

Professor Chris Dickman is a researcher in Terrestrial Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, at The University of Sydney and will be one of the headline speeches tomorrow.

Chris Dickman has long been fascinated by patterns in biological diversity and in the factors that affect it.

His work focuses mostly on mammals and other vertebrates, and encompasses wide-ranging projects in applied conservation and management such as the impacts of bushfires and introduced predators on native fauna.

His estimates of the 3 billion animals killed in the mega-fires in 2019–2020 were widely reported.

“In this talk, I will propose a series of steps, including the establishment of a Biodiversity Bureau, to help achieve ecological recovery and mitigate the effects of future mega-fires for both people and wildlife,” Prof Dickman writes in the seminar program.

Tomorrow, 17 February, will focus on the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, the welfare of livestock and wildlife, and the need for adaptation, action and fundamental change to address these impacts.

This afternoon’s seminar focussed on collaboration, planning and implementation of arrangements for managing animals in disasters.

The online seminar is chaired by RSPCA’s recently-appointed Chief Science Officer, Dr Suzanne Fowler.

More information is available on the seminar website, which include a program and speaker bios.

Registration is free: https://www.rspca.org.au/our-role-in-animal-welfare-science/animal-welfare-seminar

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