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BSAVA Petsavers Partners with the British Hen Welfare Trust to offer new student grant

BSAVA PetSavers has partnered with the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) to jointly fund a generous student grant for an undergraduate research project in chicken veterinary health. Applications for the £2500 grant will open on 1st September 2021 and close on 15th December 2021.

As the UK’s largest chicken charity, the BHWT aims to improve the current lack of knowledge about pet hens within the veterinary profession. It has been widely accepted that most vets receive minimal training on pet chicken diagnosis and care, but with increasing numbers of hens now being kept across the country there is a growing demand for specialist knowledge and treatment.

The aim of the student research project is to help improve veterinary understanding of chicken health and ultimately increase the quality of welfare and longevity of pet hens. Applications should be made by prospective supervisors of undergraduate vets or vet nurses from UK universities with veterinary students.

Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the BHWT, said: “We are extremely excited to be embarking on this partnership with such a prestigious organisation as BSAVA PetSavers to lead the way in encouraging pioneering research into chickens.

“Hens are becoming increasingly popular as pets but sadly hen keepers often find there is a lack of treatment options specifically for chickens. That’s why we set up our dedicated Hen Helpline for people, but we know that enhancing veterinary research and knowledge into chickens is vital to support the growing number of backyard hen keepers. Jointly offering a grant with BSAVA PetSavers is a big step forward to providing that support.”

David Killick, from BSAVA PetSavers continued: “BSAVA PetSavers is delighted to collaborate with the BHWT in supporting a summer research project for a student interested in learning more about the needs of pet chickens and how to meet them. The funding will support research and stipend costs and provide the student with the prestigious opportunity to present their work at BSAVA Congress; we look forward to seeing the outcome of the project.”

BSAVA PetSavers offers a number of grants including their Student Research Projects which give applicants the chance to undertake a student project on companion animal research. BSAVA PetSavers was initially established as the Clinical Studies Trust Fund in 1974 to fund clinical research. Since then, it has invested more than £2 million to support vital clinical veterinary research and training programmes.

To apply for the BSAVA PetSavers and BHWT student research project, visit our improving pet hen health page.

This student grant is the latest initiative from BSAVA dedicated to improving hen health. Published in 2019, the BSAVA Manual of Backyard Poultry Medicine and Surgery was the first resource dedicated to providing good quality information to help veterinary professionals provide the level of care to backyard birds that clients expect and deserve. Print copies of the Manual can be purchased from the BSAVA website; a digital version can be purchased from the BSAVA Library:

Notes to Editors

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) is a professional membership association and registered charity, which exists to promote excellence in small animal practice through education, science, and community. Established in 1957 as an Association run by the profession, for the profession, the BSAVA is a not-for-profit professional body, and has a membership of more than 11,000 veterinary surgeons, vet nurses and students.

BSAVA PetSavers was initially established as the Clinical Studies Trust Fund in 1974 to fund clinical research. Since then, BSAVA PetSavers has invested more than £2 million to support vital clinical veterinary research and training programmes. Its mission is to fund vital clinical research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of pets, so that vets always have the knowledge they need to counter the distress and pain caused by those diseases. This research has led to some key scientific breakthroughs in the treatment of companion animal disease.

Contact BSAVA: PR & Communications Office, or call 01452 726729.

Notes to Editors

The British Hen Welfare Trust [BHWT] has been rescuing hens from slaughter and rehoming them throughout the United Kingdom since 2005. Working closely with leaders in the egg industry, the BHWT designed and developed the original rehoming model, and has rehomed over 900,000 hens to date.

In addition to it’s rehoming efforts, the BHWT works closely with government agencies and veterinary institutions to develop programmes and practices to improve hen welfare. The BHWT has also developed an education programme providing resources to schools to help pupils explore food, farming and animal welfare. Additionally, the BHWT is researching and developing a Hens as Therapy programme to assist those suffering with mental health.

The BHWT provides online information and expert guidance for pet hen keepers and offers a hen helpline for advice on caring for sick birds.