Veterinary education in Asia Pacific

In this blog, Dr Kaewta Satayaprasert describes how her work as the Veterinary Programmes Officer at World Animal Protection enables veterinary schools in the Asian region to teach animal welfare throughout their curriculum. 

World Animal Protection’s mission is to move the world to protect animals. In terms of accomplishing that goal, we realise that veterinary professionals play a very important role in creating big improvements on the quality of animal lives all over the world. So we, at World Animal Protection, try to help veterinary schools to teach animal welfare throughout their curriculum. However, the concept of animal welfare is something very new to the Asian Region. From our investigation of 32 (randomly selected) vet schools in the Asian region we discovered that although all of these vet schools have animal welfare teaching in their lessons, less than 10% of their animal welfare lecturers are qualified with animal welfare degrees.

Teaching animal welfare in veterinary schools

So, building a capacity of animal welfare teaching in veterinary schools has become our goal. We have started our project to achieve that goal since 2008. Many trainings and workshops were conducted in Asian countries such as Taiwan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Nepal and Indonesia. We found active and valuable animal welfare advocates in each country who work as a professor or lecturer in a veterinary faculty. We invited them to join our project which we call Key Drivers (KDs). They have since been working as our precious stakeholders to speak up for animal welfare teaching in veterinary education. Their work also extends to public education; especially teaching primary school children to learn more on basic animal welfare - such as dog bite prevention, and knowing animals’ need.

Key Drivers in animal welfare

Currently we have 10 Key Drivers from nine countries. And three of the KDs have successfully created ‘animal welfare lecturer’ networks in their own countries. They frequently conduct animal welfare workshops or training for the members, to provide an opportunity for continuous professional development (CPD) and also engage their relationship as a team.

Our next project

The latest project that we are looking forward to doing, is producing the teaching material which focuses on animal welfare practice within Asian countries.