Sheep and goat welfare in Croatia: assessing veterinary student attitudes

Main Article Content

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

Abstract

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.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
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. https://doi.org/10.2298/VETGL210722010O
Section
Full research article

References

Bugarija Š., Ostović M., Pavičić Ž., Sušić V. 2014a. Sheep welfare – Part 1. Stočarstvo, 68:25-37. (in Croatian)

Bugarija Š., Ostović M., Pavičić Ž., Sušić V. 2014b. Sheep welfare – Part 2. Stočarstvo, 68:51-57. (in Croatian)

Bugarija Š., Ostović M., Pavičić Ž., Sušić V. 2015. Goat welfare. Stočarstvo, 69:11-15. (in Croatian)

Caroprese M., Albenzio M., Sevi A. 2015. Sustainability of sheep and goat production systems. In The sustainability of agro-food and natural resource systems in the Mediterranean Basin. Ed. A. Vastola, Springer, Cham, pp. 65-75. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16357-4_6

Dwyer C. M. 2009. Welfare of sheep: Providing for welfare in an extensive environment. Small Ruminant Research, 86:14-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2009.09.010

Glasman L. R., Albarracín D. 2006. Forming attitudes that predict future behavior: A meta-analysis of the attitude-behavior relation. Psychological Bulletin, 132:778-822. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.132.5.778

Levine E. D., Mills D. S., Houpt K. A. 2005. Attitudes of veterinary students at one US college toward factors relating to farm animal welfare. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 32:481-490. https://doi.org/10.3138/jvme.32.4.481

Magnani D., Ferri N., Dalmau A., Messori S. 2017. Knowledge and opinions of veterinary students in Italy toward animal welfare science and law. Veterinary Record, 180:225. https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.103938

Mikuš T., Ostović M., Sabolek I., Matković K., Pavičić Ž., Mikuš O., Mesić Ž. 2020. Opinions towards companion animals and their welfare: A survey of Croatian veterinary students. Animals, 10:199. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020199

Mioč B., Držaić V., Širić I., Kasap A. 2020. Wool – past, present and future. Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, pp. 319. (in Croatian)

Mioč B., Kasap A. 2019. Welfare in goat husbandry and recommendations for production improvement. Proceedings of the 21st Conference of Sheep and Goat Breeders in the Republic of Croatia, 17-18 October, Sv. Martin na Muri, Croatia, 2019, pp. 21-34. (in Croatian) https://www.hapih.hr/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Zbornik-radova-21-savjetovanje-uzgajivaca-arhiva.pdf (accessed on 2 July 2021)

Mioč B., Pavić V. 2002. Goats breeding. Croatian Dairy Union, Zagreb, Croatia, pp. 301. (in Croatian)

MoA. 2016. Rural Development Programme of the Republic of Croatia for the Period 2014-2020. Ministry of Agriculture, Directorate for Support in Agriculture and Rural Development, Zagreb, Croatia. https://ruralnirazvoj.hr/files/Program-ruralnog-razvoja-Republike-Hrvatske-2014.-2020.-odobrena-inacica-EN-verzija-9.1.pdf (accessed on 29 June 2021)

Munoz C. A., Campbell A. J. D., Hemsworth P. H., Doyle R. E. 2019. Evaluating the welfare of extensively managed sheep. PLoS One, 14:e0218603. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218603

OIE. 2012. OIE recommendations on the competencies of graduating veterinarians (“Day 1 graduates”) to assure National Veterinary Services of Quality. World Organization for Animal Health, Paris, France, pp. 13. https://www.oie.int/app/uploads/2021/03/dayone-b-ang-vc.pdf (accessed on 29 June 2021)

OIE. 2018. Terrestrial Animal Health Code. World Organization for Animal Health, Paris, France. https://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Health_standards/tahc/2018/en_sommaire.htm (accessed on 28 June 2021)

Ostovic M., Mikus T., Pavicic Z., Matkovic K., Mesic Z. 2017. Influence of socio-demographic and experiential factors on the attitudes of Croatian veterinary students towards farm animal welfare. Veterinarni Medicina, 62:417-428. https://doi.org/10.17221/172/2016-VETMED

Ostović M., Mesić Ž., Mikuš T., Matković K., Pavičić Ž. 2016. Attitudes of veterinary students in Croatia toward farm animal welfare. Animal Welfare, 25:21-28. https://doi.org/10.7120/09627286.25.1.021

Rioja-Lang F. C., Connor M., Bacon H. J., Lawrence A. B., Dwyer C. M. 2020. Prioritization of farm animal welfare issues using expert consensus. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 6:495. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00495

Sabolek I., Ostović M., Mikuš T., Pavičić Ž., Matković K., Antunović B., Mesić Ž. 2021. Regional differences in the attitudes of veterinary students in Croatia towards welfare of farm and companion animals. Veterinarska stanica, 52:65-71. https://doi.org/10.46419/vs.52.1.5

Sejian V., Silpa M. V., Reshma Nair M. R., Devaraj C., Krishnan G., Bagath M., Chauhan S. S., Suganthi R. U., Fonseca V. F. C., König S., Gaughan J. B., Dunshea F. R., Bhatta R. 2021. Heat stress and goat welfare: Adaptation and production considerations. Animals, 11:1021. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041021

Spoolder H. A. M., Schöne M., Bracke M. B. M. 2016. Initiatives to reduce mutilations in EU livestock production. Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) Livestock Research, Livestock Research Report 940, Wageningen, The Netherlands, pp. 84. https://edepot.wur.nl/374964 (accessed on 28 June 2021)

Vladanović K. 2015. Goat farming in the area of Dalmatia. Graduate Thesis, Undergraduate Study, Faculty of Agriculture Mediterranean Agriculture, Split, Croatia, pp. 22. (in Croatian)

Most read articles by the same author(s)