In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Standing Committee on Animal Welfare (SCAW) IVSA Paklihawa successfully organized a "3-Day Virtual Conference on Small Mammals" in collaboration with IVSAPSAU, Philippines. The Virtual Conference constituted a two-days webinar with five sessions of different guest speakers from both the countries, viz., Nepal and Philippines, mentioning many important but yet underrated topics and a one-day panel discussion based on the theme - "Intercountry Welfare Status on Small Mammals" with 5 different panelists from both countries.


 On this very first day, the webinar was divided into two sessions. In the first session, Dr.BaburamLamichhane (Act. Office In-Charge / NTNC at Biodiversity Conservation Center, Chitwan)  and in the second session, Dr.RebantaKumarBhattarai (Associate Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Head of Department at Agriculture and Forestry University, Nepal) served as the key speakers.


In the program, Ms.Suvha Shree Shree Sharma (President, IVSA Paklihawa), Mr. Juan Paulo Gallinato (IVSA PSAU, Executive Council President) under the chairmanship and  DrSirjanBastola (Advisor, IVSA Paklihawa), DrYubrajPanth (Charter President, IVSA Nepal), DrBishnu Hari Pokharel (Charter EO,IVSA Nepal), DrSwochchal Prakash Shrestha (Former Treasurer, IVSA Nepal), DrSubashBelbase (Past President,IVSAPaklihawa), DrAashishGyawali (Former EO, IVSA Paklihawa), Mr. Santosh Panta (Former President, IVSA Paklihawa), Mr. Pratik Kiju (Former EO, IVSA Nepal) and Mr. AashishAdhikari (President,IVSA Nepal) were present as the guests.


At the beginning of “VIRTUALCONFERENCEONSMALLMAMMALS”, a short MO description of IVSA Paklihawa was given from Ms. SamikshyaBhusal (EX-CO Member IVSA Paklihawa& SCOVE Ambassador- Tribhuwan University, Nepal). Similarly, Ms. JenErequie gave a short Mo description of IVSA PSAU. And then, the presentation of our guest speakers was started.


In the first session, there was a presentation on “Importance of small mammals and their conservation status in Nepal” from Dr.BaburamLamichane. In this session, he talked about the different orders of small mammals that are found in Nepal. He elaborated on different species of small mammals that fall on the order Carnivora (family; Felidae, Canidae, Hyaenidae, Ursidae, Viverridae, Mustelidae, Herpestidae, and Ailuridae ). He explained their; present status, ongoing threats like poaching, habitat loss, illegal trade, disease, etc.), conservation policies, and measures. He also addressed all the questions dropped by the participants on the chatbox. At last Dr BaburamLamichane put forward his few words regarding this conference.


At the end of this session, Mr. RamShankar (SCAW Ambassador, IVSA Global) played a game called “Picturehunt” to all the participants. In this game, the participants had to predict the name of mammals which was displayed on the screen. And this game was continued in the second session too.


After the completion of the first session, a short break for about 30 minutes was taken. And the second was continued with the presentation from the guest speaker Dr.Rebanta Kumar Bhattarai. In this session, Dr.Bhattarai gave his presentation on “Terrestrial Small Mammals as the reservoirs of the zoonotic diseases: Microbiological Basis“.Dr.Bhattarai gave a detailed description of different zoonotic diseases like brucellosis, salmonellosis, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, tularemia, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, etc. that can be transmitted by various small mammals or these small mammals act as the reservoirs of these diseases. He mentioned that the loss of half of the population of livestock is mainly due to zoonotic diseases and these diseases have a devastating impact on public health too. He also talked about many emerging and remerging zoonotic diseases and their effects on both human and public health. He answered all the queries of the QnA session. Before leaving the floor, Dr.RebantaBhattarai gave his wonderful remarks to IVSA Paklihawa, IVSA Philippines for inviting him and he also thanked all the participants for their interactive presence throughout the session.

And in this session too, the game “PICTURE HUNT” was played to entertain the participants. They all enjoyed it a lot.

Finally, the first day of the “VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON SMALL MAMMALS was wrapped up by Mr. JuanPauloGallinatio (IVSA PSAU, Executive Council President) with his concluding remarks.


The second day was divided into two sessions. In the first session Dr.Geraldine Cajuigan-Sanchez (Professor in PSAU College of Veterinary Medicine, Director of Extension and Training, Senior Faculty, and Researcher and Head of PSAU Nutraceutical Research Laboratory) and Dr.NapoleonManuel T.Almelor III, RN (Resident Exotic Veterinarian at the Vets in Practice Alabang Branch, and Wildlife and Exotic Medicine Lecturer for the Veterinary Medicine Licensure Examination at Recency Review Centre) served as the key speakers.


And in the second session, Mr. Kevin D. Tuazon (Farm Manager at Lahar Integrated Farms) served as a key speaker.


In the first session, Dr.Geraldine Cajuigan-Sanchez presented on "The Ethical Care & Welfare Management of Small Laboratory Mammals”. She began her presentation highlighting animal rights, animal welfare, and the responsibilities of the IACUC. She also briefly explained "Care management for laboratory mice/rats”. She mentioned; housing systems, environment, nutrition, temperature and ventilation, Illumination, noise, sanitation, water, and pest control as the important factor for “Care management for laboratory mice/rats”. And she ended her presentation by talking about the methods of identification, record keeping, and transportation of the small mammals of the laboratory.


Similarly, our second guest speaker of the first session, Dr.Napoleon Manuel T. Almelor III gave his presentation on “The Care and Nutrition of Small Exotic Mammal Companions”. In his presentation, he gave a detailed description of “A Clinical Practice Approach on Small Mammals” where he mainly explained; Patient History, Housing & Husbandry, Nutrition, and Physical Examination of Rabbits, Hedgehogs, and Guinea Pigs. He too answered all the queries of our participants. And at the end of the first session, a game called “Guess the Gebberish” was played to entertain all the participants moderated by Charles Flores and Rein Inocando.

After the completion of the first session, a break for one and half hours was taken and the second session was continued with much enthusiasm from our guest speaker Mr. KevinD.Tuazon and his topic of the presentation was “Small Mammals as Alternative Agricultural Food Resources”. He started his presentation with the history of rabbits. And he continued his presentation by talking about its life span, habits, value in the market, meat & its composition, pet types, digestive system, etc. He also explained the advantages and disadvantages of rabbits to humans. And he finally concluded his presentation elaborating on the management, nutrition, diseases, and genetics of rabbits. He also replied very keenly and logically to each of the questions from the chatbox.

Finally, the second day of “VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON SMALL MAMMALS" was wrapped up by Ms. Suvha Shree Sharma (President, IVSA Paklihawa) with her concluding remarks.



Finally, the three days long “VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON SMALL MAMMALS” which was started from 23rd of July till yesterday i.e., 25th of July, 2021 successfully completed with a “Panel Discussion” themed "Inter-country Welfare Status on Small Mammals" on the closing day.


On this closing day of the virtual conference on small mammals, Dr.Manoj Kumar Mahato (Veterinary Officer at Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Service Expert Center, Sunsari, Nepal), Dr Arjun Thapa[Founding President- Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation(SMCRF)], Atty. Heidi Marques (Caguioa : Program Director, Animal Kingdom Foundation Inc.), Dr.Jorge Villamil(On-call Veterinarian at Villa Alfredo Wildlife Project & Paradise Ranch Gazebo Park &Zoocobia Wildlife Park and Clark El Kabayo Riding Stables, Project Consultant at MultiFresh, Inc. (Organic Livestock and Crops Production & Marketing Ventures) and provides veterinary technical consultancy to client farm and ranches in Luzon areas), and Dr.Marie ShellaOrdinario[OIC-Section Head of the Animal Information and Advocacy Services/Animal Welfare Unit (BAI)] served as our panelist. And discussions related to the conservation, welfare, laws and regulations, poaching and illegal hunting, effect of climate change, diseases, veterinary procedures, breeding and translocation of small mammals, etc. were made with each of the panelists.


The panelists also answered many questions dropped by our participants on the chatbox. But due to time constraints, all the questions from participants could not be answered.


At last, the certificate of appreciation was distributed to all the panelists, and finally, the 3 days long "Virtual Conference on Small Mammals" ended with closing remarks of Ms. Giana BienIntong (Member, IVSA PSAU-Philippines) on behalf of Mr.Julan Paulo Gallinato (IVSA PSAU-Executive Council President).


IVSA Paklihawa express their sincere gratitude to IVSA PSAU family for such a wonderful, cooperative, and friendly collaboration and look forward for such collaborations in future too. IVSA Paklihawa also would like to thank the Standing committee on Animal Welfare (SCAW)’s ambassadors from both Paklihawa, TU, Nepal, and PSAU, Philippines i.e Mr. Ram Shanker and Mr. Frederick, respectively for coming forward to connect both the MOs. The best participant award was given toCharzyeCasano. Throughout the three days, about 85 participants took part in the conference.