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Educational events and their effect on children's perceptions of animal welfare

J. Jamieson, M. J. Reiss, D. Allen, L. Asher, C. M. Wathes, S. M. Abeyesinghe

EDUCATING children about farm animal welfare could improve general consideration for animals and ultimately affect welfare standards. This study assessed how a farm-animal-based educational event for 13- to 14-year-olds influenced their perceptions of animals and their welfare.

Children from a single year, from one of three schools, were invited to attend a non-compulsory educational event on chicken biology, welfare and food labelling. Sixty-seven children participated in the event, which was held during a single afternoon and involved a number of activities. A control group that did not attend the event was also included. The effects of attendance were evaluated using a questionnaire, which was completed three times: one week before, within one week after, and three months after the event. The questionnaire was designed to assess the children's knowledge of the event topic, attitude towards different species, how they valued animal life in comparison with inanimate objects, how they rated a set of animal welfare considerations, and how they would distribute a nominal sum of money between animal and other charities.

Knowledge and positive behaviour towards specific poultry species increased …

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