VET-10007 - Animal Behaviour and Welfare
Coordinator: Victoria Waring
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733928

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

This module introduces an area essential to the wellbeing of animals both throughout their life and when presented as patients. Recognising an animal`s needs and the animal's reactions when those needs are not met is key to improving health and welfare of the animal population. This module is important for a full appreciation of animal management in health, and thus an underpinning module for preclinical EMS but also underpins the clinical elements of the degree programme, when an animal may present in a suboptimal welfare state.
This module addresses the following RCVS Day One Competencies:
34 ¿ Assess and manage pain.
37 - Assess the physical condition, welfare and nutritional status of an animal or group of animals and advise the client on good practice of husbandry and feeding.
41 ¿ Advise stakeholders on practices that promote animal welfare.
43 - Advise on, and implement, preventative programmes appropriate to the species and in line with accepted animal health, welfare and environmental public health standards.
This module addresses the following RCVS underpinning knowledge:
The structure, function and behaviour of animals and their physiological and welfare needs, including healthy domestic animals, captive wildlife and laboratory-housed animals.
A knowledge of the businesses related to animal breeding, production and keeping.
The principles of disease prevention and the promotion of health and welfare.

The aims of this module are to:
1. Give students an appreciation of the factors that affect animal welfare, and the various ways of defining and assessing welfare
2. Introduce the terminology and science of animal behaviour in the context of veterinary medicine
3. Introduce the concepts involved in ethical treatment of animals
4. Develop an appreciation of behavioural issues, their causes and some common methods of reducing the issue

Intended Learning Outcomes

explain the factors that can affect the welfare of a range of animal species: 1,2
analyse the welfare implications of a range of human ¿ animal interactions and discuss the ethical issues associated with these interactions: 1,2
outline the methods available to assess an animal¿s welfare: 1,2
identify the issues that can lead to behavioural problems in a range of animal species and assess common methods to prevent and remedy these behaviours: 2
recognise pain from behavioural and physiological signs: 1

Study hours

Lectures - 18 hours
Tutorials - 18 hours
Supervised online study (GOAL) - 12 hours
Independent Learning - 102 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Report weighted 50%
Welfare Assignment
Assessment 1 (Welfare Assignment). Students will produce a report considering the welfare of a domesticated species. Within the report, students will consider ¿ a) The key factors that affect the welfare of that species, b) How welfare may be assessed in that species, c) How pain can be recognised in that species, d) The welfare and ethical issues related to the human-animal interactions specific to that species. Written submission of 2000 words. Technical report format required with appropriate evidence of research and referencing of source material.

2: Presentation weighted 50%
Behaviour Case-Study
Assessment 2 (Behaviour Presentation). Groups of students will analyse a behaviour case study provided to them. The students will be required to consider ¿ a) The potential underlying causes of the behaviour problem, b) Compromises to the animal¿s welfare/health as a result of the behaviour problem, c) How this problem may have been prevented. d) Options available for treatment. Students will then present a summary of their findings to the rest of the group. Tutor assessment and peer assessment will be used to differentiate individual student marks.