Thomas Blach, Professor of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, delivered an open lecture: it is quintessential to foster humane attitude towards animals

February 20, 2019

     As a part of collaboration between the Department of Epizootology and Veterinary Business Organization and the APD (German-Ukrainian Agricultural Policy Dialogue), a leading scientist and expert of the Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare (TVT), Professor of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover), Thomas Blach, visited the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of NUBiP of Ukraine on February 19, 2019.  He delivered a lecture on “New approaches to sterilization of pigs - German and European experience”. The lecture was open for students, postgraduates, young scientists, teachers and veterinary physicians.

     The content of the lecture and material presentation caused a lively interest among the audience. The lecture was devoted to the animal welfare. Professor Blach dwelled on the the evolution of the relationship between a man and an animal, covering historical aspects and attitudes towards animals in different religions and at different times. The scientist cited famous philosophers, scholars, politicians and shared his own experience, since he worked in many countries around the world and personally saw how the attitude towards animals changed.
     Later he drew attention to the ethics of attitudes towards animals in the EU countries, specifically to the Animal Protection Act. Thomas Blach emphasized how important it is to ethically justify everything we do with animals and presented modern approaches to sterilization of pigs. Professor Blach noted that the EU laws allowed to castrate pigs without anesthesia until December 31, 2018 and from January 1, 2019 only alternative methods could be used.

     Thomas Blach talked about the advantages and disadvantages of all alternative methods of sterilization of pigs in a meaningful and accessible way. He drew attention to the role of veterinary physicians in introducing new approaches. Professor Blach also highlighted that sterilization method he prefers is immunological castration, which does not cause animal suffering. At the end of the lecture, the scientist depicted how the market of pig breeding products would be affected by the prohibition of castration without anesthesia.


     After the lecture, Professor Thomas Blach visited the Department of Epizootology and Veterinary Business Organization. Head of the Department, Professor Vitaliy Nedosekov, Head of I.O. Povazhenko Department of Surgery and Pathophysiology, Mykola Malyuk, and representatives of APD (German-Ukrainian Agricultural Policy Dialogue organised a round table aimed at increasing the efficiency and quality of scientific research, discussing the actual problems of training of veterinary medicine specialists in Ukraine and Germany, and establishing partnership between NUBiP of Ukraine and the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover.

     The participants discussed possibilities of further cooperation, in particular, with EBVS (the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation).
    As Ukraine closely cooperates with the EU and seeks to become a full member of the European community, we now have to pay particular attention to animal protection and humane attitude towards productive animals. Therefore, the possibility of a short course on animal welfare has been discussed. Professor Blach noted that it is necessary to think not only about human comfort, but also to take into account animal welfare.

     Professor Nedosekov noted the need for seminars for practicing veterinary physicians and for the rapid implementation of the EU animal welfare standards in Ukraine. The scientist cited Mahatma Gandhi, 'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.' Professor Malyuk drew attention to the humanization of surgical interventions and animal biological castration.

     We hope for further fruitful cooperation and invite everyone interested to join us in our research.

Maxym Zhukovskyy,
Assistant of the Department of Epizootology and 
Veterinary Business Organization 

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