Course code VET353

VET353 Animal Welfare

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Andrew Michael Janczak
Teachers: Marit Nesje, Janicke Nordgreen, Karianne Muri, Randi Margit Gerda Oppermann Moe
ECTS credits: 9
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching exam periods:
Course frequency: .
First time: Study year 2021-2022
Preferential right:
Course contents:
Subjects that are covered by the students learning activities include the content of the book by Jensen and the book by Appleby. In addition to this, students will become familiar with the subjects ethograms, behavioural observation, and qualitative and quantitative methods. 
Learning outcome:


Knowledge goals 

After completing the course, the student should know about: 

  • Ethics, animal welfare, ethology, proper treatment of experimental animals
  • How animal welfare is evaluated under different conditions
  • Central ethical perspectives and consequences for the interpretation of animal welfare
  • Selected health-related, physiological, cognitive, emotional and behavioural aspects of animal welfare
  • Sentral welfare challenges, the impact of the animals' environment including human-animal relationships and the link between the environment, animal welfare and quality assurance
  • Selected welfare consequences of breeding and breeding as a strategy to improve animal welfare
  • Legal perspectives on animal welfare and welfare monitoring


The students completing the teaching should be able to: 

  • Analyze existing theory, methods, and interpretations in the area of animal welfare and work independently with solving practical and theoretical problems 
  • Perform clinical examinations, handling, fixation, use appropriate injection techniques and collect blood samples 

General competence 

Students completing the course should be able to: 

  • Analyze existing perspectives, methods and interpretation from different sources and work independently and professionally in connection with discussions and with practical and theoretical problem solving
  • Analyze relevant ethical questions 
  • Communicate about professional matters, analyses and conclusions within the subject area both with specialists and the general public
  • Reflect on the roles and responsibilities of veterinarians


Knowledge goals 

After completing the course, participants should know about: 

  • Animal welfare theory 
  • Differences and similarities between animal ethics, animal protection, and animal welfare
  • Consequences of different definitions of animal welfare for how animal welfare is judged
  • Central ethical perspectives and implications for animal welfare evaluation
  • Ethological concepts with relevance for animal welfare
  • Selected health-related, physiological, cognitive, emotional, and ethological aspects of animal welfare
  • Central welfare challenges in production animals, sports animals, pet animals, and experimental animals
  • Importance of the environment for animal welfare
  • The connection between the environment, health, animal welfare, and quality assurance
  • Selected welfare consequences of breeding and breeding as a welfare strategy
  • Human-animal relationships, including neglect and abuse of animals and the relationship between abuse of animals and domestic violence  
  • Implications of rules and regulations for how questions regarding animal welfare are handled 
  • The use of animal welfare theory in new areas in the science
  • The most important subjects in the field of research animals 
  • The most important rules and regulations and work with supervision 
  • Terminology in the area of research animals 
  • The 'three R's' principle 
  • How one plans animal experiments, applies for permission to perform animal experiments, chooses a species, gene-modified models, methods, anaesthesia, euthanization, etc 
  • Internal and external factors that can influence research animals and how this can influence the results, including how the animals' health can be monitored and how the quality of the work can be assured. How one should approach the work to standardize relevant factors
  • Methods for handling, housing, feeding, marking, health monitoring, anaesthesia, pain treatment and humane eauthanasia of experimental animals including fish
  • The most important principles for the choice of method and equipment for handling and treatment of experimental animals 
  • Alternatives and supplements to animal experiments 
  • Potential health risks associated with work with experimental animals and how one can reduce these risks


After completing this course, the student should be able to: 

  • Analyze existing theory, methods, and interpretations in the area of animal welfare and work independently with practical and theoretical problem-solving in the subject area
  • Read and understand scientific material related to animal welfare 
  • Interpret animal welfare at the individual and group level and be familiar with the limitations of the interpretations
  • Participate in professional and public discussions and debates related to animal welfare 
  • Perform clinical examination, handling, fixation, injection, and blood sampling in mice, rats and rabbits. This includes SC injection in mice and rats as well as both SC and IV injection in rabbits 

General competence 

After completing the course, the student should be able to: 

  • Analyze existing perspectives, method and interpretations in the area of animal welfare and work independently with practical and theoretical problem-solving in the area
  • Critically analyze different sources of information and use these to structure and formulate professional arguments
  • Analyze relevant ethical problems related to animal welfare 
  • Communicate about professional issues, analyses and conclusions in the subject area to both specialists and laypersons
  • Be reflected in relationship to the veterinarians' role and responsibilities in animal protection cases
  • Relate to the complexity in the concept of animal welfare 
  • Discuss the relationship between animal protection and animal welfare 
  • Be professional in fora in which animal welfare is discussed 
Learning activities:
Preparatory reading, independent and organised study groups and group discussions, as well as some lectures and tests. 
Teaching support:
Se reading list. A teacher will be available for questions during parts of the organised teaching sessions. 

The teaching presupposes participants have read relevant chapters from the following books before each teaching session. The tests aim at evaluating learning outcomes that should be achieved by regular work with the content of Jensen and Appleby and active participation in the organized teaching sessions.    

Jensen, P. (Ed.), 2009. The Ethology of Domestic Animals An Introductory Text, 2nd Edition, CABI, Wallingford, UK. (should be purchased) 

Michael C. Appleby, I. Anna Olsson, Francisco Galindo, 2018. Animal Welfare. ISBN 9781786390202 (should be purchased)

Styringsgruppen for Dyrevelferd - forsknings- og kunnskapsbehov, 2005. Forskningsbehov innen dyrevelferd i Norge. Rapport fra Styringsgruppen. Norges forskningsråd, Oslo NO. ISBN elektronisk utgave (pdf) 82-12-02157-2. (can be downloaded from the nett)

Recommended prerequisites:
Longitudinal evaluation with Canvas tests - Approved/not Approved.
Examination details: :