IVSA Standing Committee for Animal Welfare (SCAW) intends to address one of IVSA’s main objectives; to
actively support measures of improving the standard of animal welfare worldwide. SCAW aims to engage
veterinary students on an international scale to increase levels of awareness and education about animal
welfare and work towards creating a world in which animal welfare is maintained to the highest standards
and animals and humans can live in harmony; whilst also preserving the environment.


Our goals are to:

  • Create partnerships with organisations protecting Animal Welfare

  • Promote international and local organisations involved in Animal Welfare

  • Organise animal welfare workshops, lectures, webinars, etc. at IVSA events or separately

  • Encourage and support local MO’s to organise animal welfare events

  • Create our Animal Welfare Journal and write articles for other relevant IVSA journals and newsletters

  • Provide sources of information and knowledge on Animal Welfare

  • Create places of training on Animal Welfare for veterinary students

  • Inform students on Animal Welfare opportunities and work with international organisations to
    create further opportunities

  • Work with other Standing Committees of IVSA on shared issues and goals

Board Positions

Meg Rawlins

My name is Meg Rawlins and I am a final year veterinary student at the RVC, London. I am extremely excited to be Chair of the Standing Committee for Animal Welfare this year. I have been part of the committee for the past 2 years; the work which SCAW does is inspiring and it is amazing how the unity of veterinary students can achieve so much.


Animal welfare has always been a passion of mine and is one of the main reasons why I wanted to become a vet. In our future careers; we will be in a unique position in which we will have the ability to directly impact animal welfare through the work in which we do. I believe it is our duty, not only as veterinarians but human beings, to advocate for rights for animals who cannot fight for the injustices which they face. Animal welfare issues differ around the world due to a variety of reasons, and it is important that we understand these differences when it comes to tackling these. We must also not forget how human health and the environment tie into animal welfare and our role wider society.


IVSA provides a network for us to reach out to all corners of the world, share ideas and work against these issues and it is an honour to lead this amazing team and make the world a happier and healthier place for all creatures! Watch this space for all the great things which I am sure we will achieve this upcoming year.


Natasha van Tonder

My name is Natasha van Tonder, born in a small town in the Limpopo province of South Africa. After matriculating at Lydenburg High school I applied for a BSc Agric in Animal and Pasture Science, I quickly realized that I wanted to become a veterinarian and soon moved to the Onderstepoort Campus at the University of Pretoria. I am currently a fourth-year student with another two years and one community service year before

completing my degree. Apart from being an animal lover I also love cycling, diving and bird watching.

At present I am involved in a great project called Vetbooks for Africa. This project comprises a two-year journey ending with a six-week trip around Africa. I believe that this project has shown me the need for education in our own continent regarding animal welfare, therefore I would like to take part in making awareness for animal welfare a success around the world.

A very famous quote from Nelson Mandela inspired me to become part of the IVSA SCAW committee, which states the following: “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. There is no such thing as partial freedom.” As a future veterinarian I am prepared to stand with this quote for animals as I would for humans. Furthermore, my love and compassion for animals is what motivates me to get involved in my profession’s future. I believe that we can accomplish great things taking little steps, this is my little step to fight for animals and get rid of partial freedom for all life on earth.


I am Elena, 24 years old, and I am attending my last year of vet school at the University of Milan, Italy.

I am a mother of two dogs (Kelly&Jamaica), one cat (Wendie), one rabbit (Masha) and a dove (Hope). When I am not busy in taking care of them or studying, I like to spend my time swimming at the local pool and practicing yoga in my room or at the park. Best part of the day: take a walk at night with my dogs. 

Since i was a kind I grow up with a strong passion for animals, and this made me wish to be a vet in my future.
During my studies I realized that too often issues about animal welfare are overlooked, and this is why I started to learn a little bit more by myself around this topic. I have been trying to make the difference locally, being involved in local volunteering projects like working in an animal shelter, in sanctuaries for ex-farming animals and in wildlife rescue centres. When I discovered the work of SCAW Committee I saw the opportunity to make my mark at a global level: raising awareness around animal welfare in vet students through social media content. 


Hello! My name is Emmy and I was born and raised in New York, USA. I received by bachelors degree in Neuroscience from Franklin & Marshall College in 2017, and I am now attending Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Class of 2022. My primary interests in veterinary medicine include shelter medicine, wildlife conservation, and animal welfare. I have two rescue pups, a border collie retriever named Frankie (Frank when he's in trouble) and a lab pit mix named Ryan. In my spare time, you can catch me drawing in the dog park, snowboarding in Canada, hiking up a mountain, watching Game of Thrones, or eating peanut butter out of the jar.


Hey there! I'm Laure, 2nd year vet student (out of 5 in France) from IVSA Lyon, but you're more likely to run into me in Berlin this year, as I'm on an exchange year there - seems being a part of IVSA has not been encouraging me to stay in one place! I will be Journal Creator for SCAW this year, meaning that I will be in charge of the Week in Welfare posts and the SCAW part of the IVSA Journal. Since you'll be hearing a lot from me this year you might as well know a little bit more about me.

I joined IVSA as soon as I joined vet school, because having lived abroad as a child I was keen to get involved with something bigger than just studying vet-med in my little French school. The more I came to learn about this association, and what it was doing for students and animals worldwide, the more I fell in love with it. After attending Congress this summer, I was extremely inspired: IVSA was an opportunity to do something on a global scale, which used to seem impossible. And who doesn't want to be part of the impossible?

Like a lot of us vet-med students out there, becoming a vet was a childhood dream for me. A big part of this dream was my concern for making animals' lives better: as they do not adapt to our language-bound societies, they are always at the bottom of our social hierarchies and their welfare comes last. Our future profession is the closest one to animals there is out there, and we should - if not now, then at the end of our studies at least - understand their needs and know how to meet them. As such, I feel like it is our role as future vets to promote animal welfare around the world. I know this is a broad issue we are faced with, ranging from poached wildlife to how to keep you doggo occupied while you are away for the day, but that is exactly what IVSA is about : we are teaming up around the world, so that we may, together, be strong enough to have an impact on something huge.

I feel like education is always the place to start when you want to change something, so I will be doing my very best throughout this year to provide you with reliable information on varied animal-welfare issues. I would love to hear whatever ideas you might have and want to share, first with me but then perhaps through SCAW to a wider audience.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of this wonderful Committee, and I am looking forward to a very productive year with an amazing team! Do stay updated on what SCAW is doing, because I promise interesting things are heading your way!


Hi, everyone! My name is Yvonne and I’m currently on my clinical year in veterinary medicine in the Philippines. I’m incredibly ecstatic and honored that I get to work again with SCAW for another productive term as a Project Manager. I have always had a passion for wildlife conservation for as long as I can remember. And I believe that upholding animal welfare in this field is incredibly vital in shaping sustainable practices and policies to safeguard the needs, well-being, and future of both animals and humans.

We hope that through our projects, we could inspire and generate the will and commitment among communities to be involved in such initiatives. And we hope that you’ll join and continue to support us in this journey. Cheers!


Hello! My name is Raquel van Velzen and I’m a third-year veterinary student from the Netherlands. After finishing my bachelor, I will do the companion animal masters’ specialism. However, I am interested in the welfare of all species, from production animals to wildlife. Which of these species is affected by which animal welfare issue varies greatly over the world. Because the resources to tackle these problems may not always be present locally, I believe it is important to collaborate on animal welfare issues on a global level. Of course, a global coordination is nothing without the local ambassadors, who form the essential link to all veterinary students worldwide. Not only can they make information and events accessible for their members, but they can also provide SCAW with local insights that we would not otherwise obtain. As Ambassador Manager, it is my aim to create a close and approachable relationship with our ambassadors, making it easy, fun and interesting for them to participate. As veterinary students, we have great potential to contribute in the global improvement of animal welfare, so seize this opportunity!

Website Manager:
Education Officer: 
Journal  Creator:
Project Manager:
Social Media Manager:
Ambassador Manager:

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