World Animal Protection's Concepts in Animal Welfare teaching resource

At World Animal Protection we work proactively with people, seeking to move them to improve the welfare of animals and alleviate animal suffering. 

Introducing Concepts in Animal Welfare 

We have created this tool to enable veterinary teaching staff to effortlessly include animal welfare within their taught curriculum, and ultimately to improve both peoples’ experience of delivering and animals’ experience of receiving veterinary care. As a resource, Concepts in Animal Welfare has received endorsement and support from international and national veterinary associations.

Why learn about and teach animal welfare?

It is widely accepted that the veterinary curriculum is overloaded with content, so adding a new subject is a challenge. However, animal welfare science is gaining ever-wider acceptance and credibility, and veterinary practitioners worldwide are beginning to feel the pressure of expectation to be at the forefront of ensuring good welfare for the animals in their care. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has recommended that animal welfare is a ‘Day 1 Competency’ and should therefore become a fundamental pillar in veterinary training, ensuring that all graduating vets the world over qualify with a sound understanding of the subject.

Therefore, despite a crowded curriculum, animal welfare should be embedded within the taught content of veterinary training. This can be achieved in a number of ways, ranging from introducing it as a standalone subject to a fully integrated one, taught within other traditional elements of the veterinary course. We have designed this edition of Concepts in Animal Welfare to support the inclusion of animal welfare in whatever format is most appropriate for individual vet schools.

What does Concepts in Animal Welfare consist of?

In this resource we present 35 modules on a range of animal welfare topics.  These can be used by educators to incorporate animal welfare into their veterinary or animal sciences courses. However, any one that would like to learn more about animal welfare can use the resource for self-study purposes.

Each Module consists of a PowerPoint, accompanied by lecture notes and student activities. Collectively, these materials will allow your students and those of you who are using the resource for self-study purposes to progress your knowledge and understanding of animal welfare.

We have structured Concepts in Animal Welfare to be flexible. If you are going to be teaching others about animal welfare how you use the resource will depend on yours and your audiences’ specific needs. Each faculty will vary in when (as well as how) they opt to teach animal welfare; many select the first year of teaching. This is desirable, although we recommend that animal welfare content should be included throughout all years of veterinary or animal science training, revisiting content taught earlier in the student experience to cement knowledge (Please refer to the User Manual for further information).