McGreevy PD, Fawcett A, Johnson J, Freire R, Collins T, Degeling C, Fisher AD, Hazel SJ, Hood J, Lloyd JKF, Phillips CJC, Stafford K, Hyde ML, Wilson B, Tzioumis V. Review of the Online One Welfare Portal: Shared Curriculum Resources for Veterinary Undergraduate Learning and Teaching in Animal Welfare and Ethics. Animals (Basel). 2020 Aug 3;10(8):1341

PMID: 32756492


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 (all p < 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 to social, economic and cultural drivers of welfare outcomes in production animals (p < 0.01); slaughter and preslaughter inspections in production animals (p < 0.01); animal abuse and hoarding in companion animals (p < 0.01); shelter medicine in companion animals (p < 0.01); disaster preparedness in wildlife animals (p < 0.01); pain and distress caused by fishing in aquatic animals (p < 0.01); conscientious objection related to animals held for research and teaching (p < 0.01); behaviour, selection and training of animals used for sport, recreation and display (p = 0.046) and educating the public around sporting animal welfare (p < 0.01). Agreement between educators and students was closer for strategies to address painful husbandry procedures in production animals (p = 0.03); behaviour and training of companion animals (p = 0.03); veterinarians’ duties to wild animals in wildlife (p = 0.02); the 3Rs in animals held for research and teaching (p = 0.03) and ownership responsibility in 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.