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The Effect of Animal Welfare Training on the Knowledge and Attitudes of Abattoir Stakeholders in China

1
Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Science, Building 8134, Gatton Campus, University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
2
College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(11), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110989
Received: 2 October 2019 / Revised: 5 November 2019 / Accepted: 9 November 2019 / Published: 18 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
China is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of meat, but the welfare of livestock is only now emerging as an important issue. This study looked at whether a “train the trainer” program could be useful in improving the knowledge of employees within Chinese abattoirs about animal welfare during slaughter and transport. Trainers were either taught as a group in a classroom or mailed the training material. They subsequently held training sessions within their own workplace and the participants were surveyed before or after training. The post-training participants were more knowledgeable about animal welfare and were more confident that they could improve welfare for the animals in their care only when they were initially taught in the classroom setting. Participants without a high school education had lower knowledge scores than other participants, and women had more positive attitudes towards animals than men. These results suggest that “train the trainer” initiatives can be successful, but that consideration needs to be given to the mode of training, the level of participant education, and the content in order to ensure that all participants gain equally from the training.
Globally, China is one of the largest producers and exporters of meat, and animal welfare is an emerging focal issue for Chinese society and for primary producers. We assessed the effectiveness of a “train the trainer” program to increase awareness of animal welfare issues in stakeholders in the livestock industries of China. Chinese abattoir employees were trained in slaughter and transportation standards in either a classroom setting or using posted materials. They subsequently held training sessions within their own workplace and the participants were surveyed either before (n = 161) or after (n = 147) their training. The post-training group had more confidence to improve the welfare of animals in their care than the pre-training group (p = 0.03), and also scored better on the knowledge section of the survey (p = 0.006) only when the facilitator was trained in the classroom setting. The participants’ knowledge of animal welfare was also affected by living area (p = 0.005) and education (p = 0.005). Participants with the least formal education (to middle school only) scored lower than all other participants. Female respondents reported more positive attitudes towards animal welfare than males (p = 0.009). These results indicate that training can effectively improve stakeholder knowledge on animal welfare during slaughter and transport, however, the mode of delivery has an important influence on learning success, and participant demographics, such as gender and education level, need to be considered when preparing training material. View Full-Text
Keywords: welfare; slaughter; transportation; China; attitudes; training welfare; slaughter; transportation; China; attitudes; training
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MDPI and ACS Style

Descovich, K.; Li, X.; Sinclair, M.; Wang, Y.; Phillips, C.J.C. The Effect of Animal Welfare Training on the Knowledge and Attitudes of Abattoir Stakeholders in China. Animals 2019, 9, 989. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110989

AMA Style

Descovich K, Li X, Sinclair M, Wang Y, Phillips CJC. The Effect of Animal Welfare Training on the Knowledge and Attitudes of Abattoir Stakeholders in China. Animals. 2019; 9(11):989. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110989

Chicago/Turabian Style

Descovich, Kris, Xiaofei Li, Michelle Sinclair, Yan Wang, and Clive J.C. Phillips. 2019. "The Effect of Animal Welfare Training on the Knowledge and Attitudes of Abattoir Stakeholders in China" Animals 9, no. 11: 989. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110989

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