Sheep and goat welfare in Croatia: assessing veterinary student attitudes

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Mario Ostović
Tomislav Mikuš
Velimir Sušić
Kristina Matković
Željko Pavičić
Željka Mesić


Research into the veterinary perception of animal welfare is becoming ever more relevant. Following previous studies on Croatian veterinary students’ attitudes and opinions towards farm animal and pet welfare, the present study assessed their attitudes towards sheep and goat welfare, focusing on the year of veterinary medicine study and area of student residence. The questionnaire survey involved students of all six years of the integrated undergraduate and graduate study programme at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. First-year students filled out the questionnaire twice, before and after having attended the animal welfare subject. The questionnaire consisted of two sections. The first section included questions on student demographic and experiential characteristics, whereas the second section asked them to define the level of cognition, sentience and welfare compromise in sheep and goats through five-point Likert scale questions. Study results revealed that students agreed that sheep and goats have cognitive abilities and feelings, but they neither agreed nor disagreed about their welfare compromise. There was no significant difference in student responses according to years of study or between first-year student responses before and after having attended the animal welfare subject or according to areas of student residence. These results could suggest poor student interaction with small ruminants and, therefore, help expand the respective curriculum.


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Ostović, M., Mikuš, T. ., Sušić, V., Matković, K., Pavičić, Željko, & Mesić, Željka. (2021). Sheep and goat welfare in Croatia: assessing veterinary student attitudes. Veterinarski Glasnik, 75(2), 202-210.
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