Review of the Online One Welfare Portal: Shared Curriculum Resources for Veterinary Undergraduate Learning and Teaching in Animal Welfare and Ethics
D McGreevy, P.; Fawcett, A.; Johnson, J.; Freire, R.; Collins, T.; Degeling, C.; Fisher, A.D.; Hazel, S.J.; Hood, J.; Lloyd, J.K.F.; Phillips, C.J.C.; Stafford, K.; Hyde, M.L.; Wilson, B.; Tzioumis, V.
Animals: An Open Access Journal from Mdpi 10(8)
ISSN/ISBN: 2076-2615 PMID: 32756492 DOI: 10.3390/ani10081341
Simple Summary All of the veterinary schools in Australia and New Zealand worked together to develop the online One Welfare learning and teaching portal (OWP) for sharing teaching resources to assist veterinary graduates to become leaders in animal welfare and ethics (AWE). The materials in the portal are organised around eight key themes including two overarching themes of animal ethics and animal welfare science, and six context-specific themes: companion animals; animals used in research and teaching; livestock/production animals; animals used for sport, recreation or display; animals in the wild, and aquatic animals. The arrangement of these resources aligns with those of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS). As part of the OWP development, animal welfare educators from the eight veterinary schools met and used modified deliberative polling to prioritise resource development. Surveys of students and educators in all participating schools investigated their attitudes to current AWE issues across six context-specific themes: companion animals; animals used in research and teaching; livestock/production animals; animals used for sport, recreation or display; animals in the wild and aquatic animals. The prioritised resources include (1) student AWE essays arranged by subject; (2) an online reflection tool that can be used repeatedly to gain understanding of change in attitudes over time; (3) eight overarching themes that host a group of interactive scenarios; (4) research papers for each context-specific theme; (5) a bank of multiple choice questions with feedback to support AWE assessment; (6) a novel online discussion tool 'Chatterbox;' and (7) a 'toolbox' containing directions to the doglogbook, an owner app designed to monitor management practices, and evaluate quality of life in dogs. This article introduces the online One Welfare learning and teaching portal (OWP) and describes its development, use, importance and relevance to animal welfare and ethics (AWE) stakeholders. As animal welfare issues increase in importance, veterinarians must be trained to lead the science that underpins AWE discourses. The OWP is a collection of resources designed to engage and challenge veterinary science students as they become advocates for animals. It was developed collaboratively by all eight veterinary schools in Australia and New Zealand, and funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. Surveys to investigate the attitudes of students and educators to AWE issues in six context-specific themes based on the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) (companion animals; animals used in research and teaching; livestock/production animals; animals used for sport, recreation or display; animals in the wild and aquatic animals) were administered through all participating schools. Students assigned more importance to Day One competence in knowledge of welfare concepts than did educators for the following groups: production animals, companion animals, animals in the wild, aquatic animals, animals used in research and teaching, and animals used for sport, recreation or display (allp< 0.01). Agreement between educators and students was closer regarding the importance of Day One competence for euthanasia for all six context-specific themes (p< 0.01-0.03). Students assigned more importance than educators tosocial, economic and cultural driversof welfare outcomes in production animals (p< 0.01);slaughter and preslaughter inspectionsin production animals (p< 0.01);animal abuse and hoardingin companion animals (p< 0. 01);shelter medicinein companion animals (p< 0.01);disaster preparednessin wildlife animals (p< 0.01);pain and distress caused by fishingin aquatic animals (p< 0.01);conscientious objectionrelated to animals held for research and teaching (p< 0.01);behaviour, selection and trainingof animals used for sport, recreation and display (p= 0.046) andeducating the publicaround sporting animal welfare (p< 0.01). Agreement between educators and students was closer forstrategies to address painful husbandryproceduresin production animals (p= 0.03);behaviour and trainingof companion animals (p= 0.03);veterinarians' duties to wild animalsin wildlife (p= 0.02);the 3Rsin animals held for research and teaching (p= 0.03) andownership responsibilityin sporting animals (p= 0.01). This report discusses the reasons for differences among students and educators as they approach these issues. The portal is expected to gather more content as veterinary schools in other countries use its resources and users submit scenarios and discussion topics that reflect local needs.