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Teaching animal welfare in veterinary schools in Latin America

Mota-Rojas, Daniel, Orihuela, Agustín, Strappini-Asteggiano, Ana, Nelly Cajiao-Pachón, María, Agüera-Buendía, Estrella, Mora-Medina, Patricia, Ghezzi, Marcelo, Alonso-Spilsbury, María
International Journal of Veterinary Sciences 2018 v.6 no.2 pp. 131-140
animal health, animal welfare, animals, curriculum, education programs, ethics, international organizations, learning, society, veterinarians, veterinary education, veterinary medicine, veterinary schools, Latin America, Spain
There is a high demand for a veterinary education in animal welfare (AW) with different approaches from the academic, society and trade points of view. Latin American (LA) countries members of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) are under the urge and should be obligated to teach AW. The aims of this article are to analyze the current drives of change on the importance of teaching animal welfare in LA, the competences recommended from international education organizations for the region, and to provide the contents on the curriculum in AW that a future veterinarian should achieve in the LA scenario, in other words to examine why teaching AW, what should be taught and how. Despite significant advances in introducing AW into veterinary training programs, much remains to be done regarding the future of this field in teaching veterinary science in Spain and LA countries, and in including this science as an independent course in programs at distinct levels to integrate the scientific, ethical and legal aspects of AW. This paper presents a proposal that was constructed with a view towards integrating diverse curricular approaches based on criteria, contents and concepts provided by the researchers and professors who collaborated in the book entitled: Bienestar Animal: Una Visión Global en Iberoamerica [Animal Welfare: A Global Vision in Ibero-America]. To ensure veterinary students will be better equipped to graduate with OIE day 1 competencies in AW, teaching approaches are needed that support project-based learning and gamification, critical thinking, reflection and collaborative learning.