Animal welfare education in action

Animals can experience pleasure, pain and suffering. When humans interact with animals we have a responsibility and often a legal duty to safeguard their welfare.

These messages are at the heart of WSPA’s educational aim – to develop compassion, a sense of justice and respect for animals and people. Animal welfare is also crucial to people and the environment.

With basic knowledge and an understanding of key animal welfare principles, people come to understand and appreciate the role that we can all play in improving the lives of animals around the world.

Education for positive change

Animal welfare education in action

WSPA’s animal welfare education programs are aimed at primary and secondary school level, vocational level, and higher education level.

WSPA Education staff also support and assist member societies around the world in developing educational initiatives.

Our programs

WSPA’s animal welfare education programs run in Central and South America, Africa and Asia, and focus on three areas:

1. International Animal Welfare Education (IN AWE)

This educational program for animals, people and the environment is aimed at teachers working with 5–16 year olds. It aims to integrate animal welfare education into school curricula by working with governments, organizing teacher training workshops and providing materials.

Through education on the humane treatment of animals, children can become more compassionate and develop a responsible attitude as future citizens.

IN AWE programs currently run in Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Kenya and Thailand.

Find out more by downloading the Animal Welfare Education brochure (PDF) or looking at the IN AWE website for educators:  

The IN AWE program has been endorsed by both the UNESCO regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Chile, in April 2007, and the International Association of Human–Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO), in June 2008.

2. Concepts in Animal Welfare (CAW) and vocational training

WSPA’s Concepts in Animal Welfare syllabus has been designed to facilitate teaching animal welfare at veterinary faculties worldwide. Vets can play a major role in improving animal welfare through their own actions and by influencing others.

Developed with the School of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol in 2003, the CD-ROM syllabus was revised in 2007 and has been sent to over 850 universities worldwide. Over 400 lecturers have been involved in animal welfare workshops and conferences organized by WSPA.

Download more information on CAW >> (PDF)

WSPA also supports agricultural vocational training in Kenya that integrates an animal welfare perspective.

3. Community Outreach and Continuous Professional Development

WSPA's education staff assist with other WSPA Programs and supports the education initiatives of member societies by providing advice, feedback, educational expertise and funding grants.

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