Vets perceived self-efficacy to detect and report animal abuse incidents

Are you a vet or vet nurse working in the UK? Please complete this survey to help with this important research.

I am a postgraduate student at University of Kent studying for my MSc in Forensic Psychology. Under the supervision of Dr Emma Alleyne, I have designed a research study that examines veterinarians’ perceptions of their ability to recognise and report animal abuse in their practice. 


We devised this study based on the limited literature (especially in the UK) on this topic. We came across some interesting research in the American literature that found that veterinarians did not feel they had the appropriate training and skills, nor did they have the confidence in recognising signs of animal abuse. They certainly did not feel they had the confidence to report the abuse either.

Given that animal abuse is highly correlated with other types of abuse and violence (i.e., intimate partner violence, child abuse) (Lockwood and Ascione, 1998), veterinarians play a significant role in the prevention and intervention for many forms of aggression. Most of the existing research has been conducted in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, so it is not clear whether these research findings are representative of the UK context.

Therefore, the main aims of the proposed research is two-fold: (1) to examine the self-efficacy and confidence veterinarian practitioners in the UK for recognising and reporting animal abuse in practice; and (2) to examine practitioners’ perceptions of the training provided regarding animal abuse detection.

It is hoped that the findings from this project could provide fruitful information on the training provided in the UK. Based on the findings, advice and guidance for future training as well as amendments and adjustments may be extracted to aid professional bodies be as informed about training standards as can be.

The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete, and your response will be very much appreciated. The deadline is the 30th of June 2017.