Identifying the main obstacles related to animal welfare to define the pedagogical objectives


Animal welfare is a tricky concept, associated with scientific, political and ethical controversies which make its teaching delicate. Different obstacles in the conception of the learners are to be taken into consideration, as they form the basis for the construction of your didactic strategy. While the following obstacles are the most commonly observed, each group of learners has its own.


For the educator: define a pedagogical strategy according to the main obstacles to be overcome

For the learner: feel involved in a pedagogical strategy based on one’s own obstacles

Which obstacles to overcome?

If the obstacles are specific to the group of learners, we can usually observe the following ones.

- Ignorance of the animal's semiotic signs (signs that the animal expresses and the receiver has to interpret), is often considered a key obstacle for taking animal welfare into account. It is true that animals do not always have the same pattern of expression, which generates real misunderstandings, but this is not the only obstacle to be taken into account.
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In the same way, attachment to the animal can be feared because it can be experienced as a limitation to the profession of animal husbandry, and in particular to the acceptance of the animal's death.

According to these obstacles, what would be the objectives of the curriculum for herders?

The aim would be to avoid any dogmatic approach to animal welfare or good husbandry practices, but on the contrary to allow the individual to develop critical, creative and attentive (taking care of animals and humans) thinking about themselves and the animal. In other words, to enable people to think about animal welfare while taking into account the context and their own needs, desires and constraints.
Inputs on animal ethology will be proposed to see concrete applications in animal husbandry.
In the pedagogical situations that will be proposed, the learner will be able to express his/her values, ethics and emotions with confidence.
The thought process will be able to evolve through constructive confrontations in which words are welcomed.