Assessment of an educational intervention on the knowledge and attitudes of indian national veterinarians to animal welfare and euthanasia

Emma L. Rayner*, Ilona Airikkala-Otter, Heather J. Bacon, Hayley M. Walters, Luke Gamble, Fritha M. Langford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The teaching of animal welfare in Indian veterinary education is limited. Current knowledge and attitudes to animal welfare and euthanasia, and the effect of a targeted educational intervention, were assessed in 84 Indian national and 49 non-Indian veterinarians attending a 2-week training course run by the Worldwide Veterinary Service in Tamil Nadu. A pre-intervention questionnaire, comprising knowledge and attitude questions on animal welfare and ethical issues, was completed. Fifteen students were then retained as a control group. The intervention group was exposed to a predesigned lecture and case studies (day 6). At the end of the course (day 12), another identical questionnaire was completed. Initially, there was no difference in knowledge of the control or intervention groups of Indian participants. Overall knowledge scores were lower in Indian participants compared with non-Indian participants (p < 0.05). Both groups' scores increased after the course (p < 0.05), with the Indian participants improving the most. Indian participants' attitudes were supportive of animal welfare and euthanasia prior to the intervention. Improvements in scores, with some reaching significance (p < 0.05), were observed post-intervention. Non-Indian participants' attitudes were more supportive of animal welfare and euthanasia with strongly agree/strongly disagree chosen more frequently than Indian responses. Both groups' self-assessment of their understanding of these topics improved post-intervention (p < 0.01). No prominent differences were found in questionnaire responses in the control cohort. This study shows that a targeted educational intervention impacts on Indian veterinarians' knowledge and attitudes toward animal welfare and euthanasia, and is relevant to organizations aiming to improve animal welfare standards in India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-217
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number2
Early online date13 Jun 2019
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2020


  • Animal welfare
  • Attitudes
  • Case-based learning
  • India
  • Knowledge
  • Veterinary education

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