How the variables of background and education change student's responses to the effect of farming and husbandry practices on animal welfare
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Animal Sciences Honors Theses;2005
Assessment of Student Attitudes About Companion and Food Animal Welfare. J. Bennett1, J. Osborne1, K. Fike1, K. Hoblet1, J. Kinder1, and P. Hemsworth2, 1Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, OH, 2Animal Welfare Centre, Victoria, Australia. We were interested in assessing student attitudes toward animal welfare as part of a larger project involving development and incorporation of animal welfare teaching modules into the Animal Sciences curriculum at OSU. The specific objective was to assess how type of animal experience and course level affected student perceptions about animal welfare in various production settings and when typical animal husbandry practices are used. Animal sciences students (n=180) from Introductory and Capstone courses in Animal Sciences were surveyed as to their level of agreement (strongly agree=1) or disagreement (strongly disagree=5) about whether animal husbandry practices seriously reduce animal welfare. Survey responses were categorized by type of animal experience (small companion animals only =SMO; food animals only =FO; small companion animals and horse =S&H; small companion animal and food animal =S&F; small companion animals, horse, and food animals=ALL). Across most questions, students with some food animal experience were less concerned that animal husbandry practices would seriously reduce animal welfare. For example, students in the SMO (2.74±0.19) and S&H (3.22±0.21) groups more strongly agreed (P < .01) that trimming hen’s beaks seriously reduces animal welfare as compared with students in the S&F (3.64±0.13) and ALL (3.48±0.19) groups. Students in the introductory course (3.63±0.21) were more (P < .001) concerned that castration seriously reduces animal welfare as compared with students in the Capstone course (4.23±0.18). We conclude that type of animal experience influences student perceptions about effects of husbandry practices on animal welfare.
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