Ranking of production animal welfare and ethics issues in Australia and New Zealand by veterinary students

Cornish, Amelia, Fisher, Andrew D., Collins, Teresa, Degeling, Christopher, Freire, Rafael, Hazel, Susan J., Hood, Jennifer, Lloyd, Janice K.F., Philips, Clive J.C., Stafford, Kevin J., Tzioumis, Vicky, and McGreevy, Paul D. (2018) Ranking of production animal welfare and ethics issues in Australia and New Zealand by veterinary students. Veterinary Sciences, 5 (3). 65.

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The importance of animal welfare and ethics (AWE) within the veterinary education should reflect community concerns and expectations about AWE, and the professional demands of veterinary accreditation on the first day of practice (or ‘Day One’ competences). Currently, much interest and debate surrounds the treatment of production animals, particularly around live export. To explore the attitudes to AWE of veterinary students in Australia and New Zealand, a survey was undertaken to (i) understand what students consider important AWE topics for initial production animal competence; and (ii) ascertain how these priorities correlated with gender, area of intended practice and stage-of-study. The results from 575 veterinary students showed that all students ranked strategies to address painful husbandry procedures as the most important issues on their first day in production animal practice. Additionally, it was found that the importance students assigned to an understanding of human–animal interactions declined as they progressed through the veterinary course. In contrast, the importance of an understanding of euthanasia issues for production animals increased for male students as they progressed through the course, and remained consistently high in females. Females also gave higher ranking to the importance of understanding production animal stress associated with transport, and ranked strategies to address painful husbandry procedures more important than did males. These findings should help the development of AWE teaching resources that address students’ attitudes and competence and that can be delivered when students are most receptive.

Item ID: 54520
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2306-7381
Keywords: animal welfare; veterinary education; Day One competence; gender; production animals; veterinary ethics; euthanasia
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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Funders: Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT)
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2018 05:42
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3009 Veterinary sciences > 300999 Veterinary sciences not elsewhere classified @ 20%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390199 Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified @ 50%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3003 Animal production > 300399 Animal production not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830399 Livestock Raising not elsewhere classified @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences @ 30%
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