Evaluation of animal welfare and ethics teaching to UK zookeepers

Bacon, Heather orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0011-8047, Bell, Catriona, Dwyer, Cathy M., Waran, Natalie and Shaw, Darren J. (2023) Evaluation of animal welfare and ethics teaching to UK zookeepers. In: 5th Annual Meeting of the European Veterinary Congress of Behavioural Medicine and Animal Welfare, 19-20 October 2023, Pisa, Italy.

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: https://evcbmaw.org/


Introduction A previous large-scale survey of international zoo staff identified a range of self-identified educational needs, particularly relating to a better understanding of welfare science and behaviours in zoo animals [1]. Themes important to effective zookeeper education, include self-efficacy, self-motivation and stockpersonship, and a contextual understanding of the relationship between wild animal behaviour and zoo animal behaviour and welfare [2]. This presentation uses these findings as a basis for developing an educational intervention for zookeepers in the UK. Methods Results of a large scale survey identifying topics for future training were used to formulate intended learning outcomes (ILOs). Educational content was developed to achieve these ILOs and delivered to UK zookeepers. The impact of the intervention was evaluated using a questionnaire and focus group with questions based on based on Kirkpatrick’s evaluation framework [3]. Results The 2020 surveys generated return rates of pre = 48.57%, post = 11.43% (cohort n = 35). The 2021 survey return rate were: pre = 66.67%, post = 21.05% (cohort n = 57). Students showed knowledge increase from pre- to post-teaching (Fishers exact p <0.05), and found the teaching useful and engaging. Students reported reflecting on their own views on ethical issues and implementing changes to animal husbandry based on the teaching. Conclusions Targeted education delivered in a way that challenges prior beliefs and encourages self-reflection can improve zookeeper knowledge and potentially change beliefs and behaviours towards zoo animals. This study was approved by the University of Edinburgh’s Human Ethical Review Committee (number 579_20).

Repository Staff Only: item control page