Animal Welfare Education is a process that promotes understanding of the need for compassion towards people, animals, and the environment. It is aimed at equipping learners with knowledge, skills, values, and positive attitudes towards animals to promote harmonious co-existence of people and animals. This will help to maximise the benefits humans and the environment get from animals. This is promoted by:
- our involvement in the lives of animals.
- our understanding of the effects this has on the animals’ ability to satisfy the animal’s needs.
- understanding the responsibility this places on human beings.
Although animal welfare is provided for in the Animals Act, Prevention of Cruelty (1957), sensitisation of the population on the welfare of animals in general has not been adequately emphasised. As a result, animal husbandry and handling practices have not always taken care of the welfare of animals. Furthermore, the farmers have not been adequately sensitised on proper welfare of animals to improve farm productivity.
Benefits of animal welfare in the curriculum
It is envisaged that animal welfare education will help to reinforce the growing awareness of the close linkage between humans, animals and the environment. Animal production systems that respect the environment and the welfare of animals result in sustainable incomes for farmers, improvement of quality of human nutrition and proper use of natural resources.
The concept of animal welfare at both primary and secondary school levels, is aimed at increasing the learners’ knowledge and skills as they transit from childhood to adulthood. This will help them develop more positive attitudes towards animals. These will be utilised to promote the welfare of animals in their communities as well as recognise and address Animal Welfare related issues.
As a result of Animal Welfare in the Curriculum, the learners will be able to:
- exhibit compassion, love, empathy, and respect for animals.
- identify current inhumane practices towards animals and their effects on animals, humans and the environment.
- prevent inhumane treatment/ practices towards animals.
- promote good welfare of animals.
- increase the economic productivity of animals.