Competences of the herder taking into consideration animal welfare
Competence is defined as the mobilization or activation of several types of knowledge in a given situation and context (Leboterf, 1995). We consider the key competencies of a herder related to the consideration of animal welfare.
1. The ability to understand the behaviour of the animal considering the type of breeding and the circumstances. This skill involves knowledge of ethology, knowledge of the animal's non-verbal language, and interpretation of observations in relation to the context in which the animal is found.
2. The ability to develop a relationship with the animal. This skill should enable the breeder to subsequently implement professional practices that are less stressful for the animal, or even to create positive emotions in the animal.
3. The ability to elaborate an ethical reasoning dealing between their own needs, emotions, context and the needs of the animal and their living context. This competence implies being aware of the ethical issues at stake in a given situation (ethics towards oneself, the animal, society) and making a conscious decision to respond to them.
4. The ability to adapt the technical process taking care of the animal and taking into consideration the breeding situation. This skill involves observing the behaviour of the animal in a breeding situation, interpreting it and adapting the practice according to the needs of the animal and personal needs in terms of finance, ergonomics...
5. The ability to argue with customers about professional choices with regards to animal welfare. This competence implies an ability to communicate one's ethical choices.