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Mapping farm animal welfare education at university level in Europe

By G. Illmann, L. Keeling, M. Melisova, M. Simeckova, V. Ilieski, C. Winckler, L. Kost'al, M. C. Meunier-Salaun, S. Mihina, H. Spoolder, G. Fthenakis, R. Sarova, M. Spinka

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The aim of this study was to map farm animal welfare university education in an enlarged Europe with emphasis on identifying existing differences and gaps. Information on 210 courses dealing with farm animal welfare from 98 universities in 26 European countries were obtained. Statistical analysis was carried out on 155 of these courses within animal science or veterinary programmes, at Bachelor and Master level and with the countries grouped into five regions (North West Europe, Mediterranean, West Central Europe, East Central Europe and Balkans). There were significantly more hours of teaching in animal welfare in the North West region of Europe. This region also had more 'interactive' education methods, eg group discussion and farm visits, whereas West Central Europe had most 'transmissive' methods, eg lecturing. A course was more likely to be given in English in North West Europe (even when the UK and the Republic of Ireland were excluded from the analysis) and East Central Europe compared to West Central Europe and the Balkans. There appeared to be no regional differences in the content of the courses although the focus was significantly more 'applied', ie towards welfare assessment and legislation in the veterinary education and more 'fundamental', ie oriented towards ethology, physiology and ethics, in the animal science education. In summary, the main differences in farm animal welfare education across Europe seem to be in the reduced number of hours of education, less interactive teaching and fewer courses in English available to students outside the North West region.

Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 23
Issue 4
Pages 401-410
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Publisher Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
DOI 10.7120/09627286.23.4.401
Language English
Author Address Department of Ethology, Institute of Animal Science, Prague, Czech
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal physiology
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Balkans
  5. British Isles
  6. Commonwealth of Nations
  7. Developed countries
  8. Education
  9. Employees
  10. Ethics
  11. Europe
  12. Extension
  13. Geography
  14. Laws and regulations
  15. Legislation
  16. Livestock
  17. Mathematics and statistics
  18. OECD countries
  19. peer-reviewed
  20. physiology
  21. Social psychology and social anthropology
  22. statistical analysis
  23. students
  24. training
  25. United Kingdom
  26. Universities and Colleges
  27. variation
  28. Veterinary education
  29. Veterinary medicine
  30. Zoology
  1. peer-reviewed