Integrating the Anicare approach into the herder curriculum


Issue
Animal welfare is increasingly taken into account in European curricula. There are even compulsory training courses for breeders in some countries. However, some programmes still make no mention of it.
Two main problems arise: how to make animal welfare attractive when it is experienced as compulsory? How to integrate it when it does not appear explicitly.

Objective
For the educator: integrate animal welfare education in farmer curricula
For the learner: consider animal welfare as a transversal theme irrigating all the professional practices

Proposals

The interest of Anicare is that it starts from the professional practices of the breeders. Animal welfare is therefore not considered as a subject in itself, but as part of a judgment and decision-making process involving a set of other considerations (constraints, needs of the breeder, his ethics, his desires, ...). The practices proposed through the films can perfectly illustrate a zootechnical practice (nutrition, housing, ...), illustrate or criticize new regulations.
The films can also be used to work on a controversy that might have emerged during a course, or to make explicit a controversy, a latent resistance within the group.
To begin a course, films can be used to share representations of a professional practice.
But Anicare can also be used for training courses whose themes are not directly related to animal husbandry, but rather to environmental issues. It could also be used to animate debates between farmers and citizens, politicians or to develop their arguments to promote their activities.
Anicare proposes films, but it is also interesting to ask the learners to make their own films during their professional training. The learners will come back with resources to be analysed in the classroom (see appendix 5 on making films).

Pitfalls and recommendations

Animal welfare is either considered by the learner as a competence in its own right or as a constraint that does not deserve to be considered as a competence. The films of breeders that we propose in the framework of Anicare aim precisely at showing how breeders take it into account, but also showing the diversity of professional views. They therefore make it possible to demonstrate that animal welfare is integrated into the breeder's decision-making process, but also to show that there is no single "good" practice.

Examples

“One choice we made is not to include a module on animal welfare. We did not put it as such, to avoid moving on to something else when the teaching is finished. The recommendation that is made in adult education is not to make specific modules on animal welfare. Animal welfare should be considered in a transversal way” (inspector of zootechny)

“On returning from work placement, students bring films of professional practices. We also ask them to interview the breeder about their practice. We form groups around the same practice, and we ask them to compare the reasoning and practices with regards to safety for the breeder and animal welfare. Then, in a plenary session, each group reports its conclusions. I only intervene at the end if necessary.”