Model vet school case study: Standard 7 - extension and community programmes

World Animal Protection has worked with the veterinary community to establish a system whereby vet schools that demonstrate good standards in animal welfare can be recognised. This has culminated in a set of guidelines that propose eight standards of excellence in animal welfare to help veterinary bodies and schools integrate animal welfare into veterinary education beyond the curriculum, and to be recognised for doing so.

For this standard, the veterinary school, it’s professors and students can demonstrate that they are engaged with and offer public engagement activities to enhance the welfare of animals in the community. This also includes vet school engaging with the local community to raise awareness of and support solutions to contextual animal welfare issues. The table below lists the activities a model veterinary school can demonstrate according to progressive star levels within the ‘Extension / community programmes’ standard.  

Below are the criteria for each star level

* One star criteria 

  • The veterinary school is developing relationships with other veterinary schools, national veterinary associations, vet practices, animal owners and animal welfare organisations.

** Two star criteria

One star requirements met

  • The veterinary school offers low cost/subsidised/affordable treatment to the local community and their animals. Where required, the veterinary school can seek financial and logistical support externally from reputable partner clinics or non-governmental organisations.
  • Faculty members give talks about animal welfare in primary/secondary schools and local community projects.
  • Community outreach projects or services are designed using evidence gathered by the school through monitoring welfare of animals in the community.

*** Three star criteria

Two star requirements met

  • The veterinary school is providing students with capacity/opportunity to take part in ‘service learning’ placements to support and improve animal welfare in the local community.

 **** Four star criteria

Three star requirements met

  • The feedback from the extension programme is used to make changes in the veterinary curriculum after discussion by the senior team or animal welfare committee.

**** Five star criteria

Four star requirements met

  • The veterinary school works in partner with its selected placements to assess and improve its animal welfare provision.
  • The veterinary school and staff are encouraging students to be actively involved with animal welfare (whether organised by the school or not) in the local community. This could include providing affordable or pro-bono advice, human resources or clinical services in animal-related activities.
  • The veterinary school works with governments and policy makers to advise on and be involved in national or local animal welfare issues.
  • Local government can use the services of the veterinary school- for example, to help conduct neutering programmes. 

If you are implementing some of the standards, and making some of the changes recommended in your veterinary school’ practice and culture then please get in touch to ‘collaborate with us’ to show case your vet school . We would love to hear from you, to share your successes and challenges as case studies on this page, to support other vet schools that are embarking on their own journey to improve the inclusion of animal welfare.

Read the case study for the University of Nottingham Veterinary Schools ‘Vets in the Community’ Project


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