Susan Michie, pioneer of human behaviour change science, to deliver prestigious Wooldridge Memorial Lecture - Veterinary Practice
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Susan Michie, pioneer of human behaviour change science, to deliver prestigious Wooldridge Memorial Lecture

Professor Susan Michie will deliver the 56th annual Wooldridge Memorial Lecture, entitled “People Power: how changing human behaviour can improve animal welfare” at BVA Congress 2023

British Veterinary Association (BVA) logo

Professor Susan Michie, pioneer of ground-breaking research exploring how influencing people’s actions can have a positive impact on health and sustainability, will deliver the 56th annual Wooldridge Memorial Lecture at BVA Congress 2023.

The lecture, titled “People Power: how changing human behaviour can improve animal welfare”, will take place on Friday 17 November 2023 between 11am and 12.15pm in the BVA Congress Theatre during the London Vet Show (LVS).

A leading researcher in her field, Professor Susan Michie jointly developed the COM-B framework for behaviour change, an innovative method for characterising and designing behaviour change interventions, building on and improving earlier frameworks.

Her lecture will discuss the topic in a veterinary context, addressing some of the problems that vets see in animals that are unknowingly caused by human behaviour and could be prevented.

Professor Susan Michie will touch on tricky topics such as obesity, buying or breeding brachycephalic and dangerous dogs, antimicrobial awareness and use of the medicines by vets, farmers and animal owners, under-vaccination of pets and more.

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions during the lecture and to speak with Professor Susan Michie, who is professor of health psychology and director of the centre for behaviour change at University College London, on BVA’s LVS show stand, M60.

Susan Michie said: “There is a science of behaviour and behaviour change that should be drawn on in tackling the many animal health and welfare problems that are often caused or exacerbated by human behaviour and can be solved or reduced by enabling change.

“Common-sense approaches are often ineffective and can even make things worse; evidence-based techniques are available.

“It has been fascinating considering this research in relation to the veterinary profession and I look forward to discussing this in-depth at BVA Congress.”

BVA Anna Judson said: “All animals are likely to become ill or suffer an injury at some point but it is particularly heartbreaking when, with the right knowledge, it could have been prevented.

“It can lead to difficult conversations between vets, farmers and animal owners but Professor Susan Michie’s lecture will discuss ways in which such consultations can be approached, to provide tools which can increase the chances of a positive change in the future.”

The first Wooldridge Memorial Lecture, posthumously named after veterinary politician and researcher Dr W R Wooldridge, was delivered at BVA Congress in 1967 by professor Lord Stamp and, over the years, has been followed by lectures from eminent speakers including the Princess Royal (1992), president of the Animal Health Trust; Sir Robert May FRS, chief scientific adviser, Office of Science and Technology (1999); Dr John Bradshaw, author of bestsellers “Dog Sense/In Defence of Dogs” and “Cat Sense” (2015); author and campaigner Ben Goldacre (2017) and pioneering animal welfare scientist Temple Grandin (2019).

Find the BVA Congress programme and buy your tickets for London Vet Show at their website.

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