AP3A67-Animal Welfare

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Rebecca Meagher

Email: r.k.meagher@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module comprises a series of lectures and classroom exercises and a student project. During this time, students will learn about the ethical frameworks that inform evaluations about animal welfare, the assessment of an animal’s welfare status and approaches that might be taken to improve welfare. In the student project, students research a particular welfare issue and devise a plan for implementing a solution to this issue. Their findings are presented in a class mini-conference and as a submitted portfolio. There is also an examination in the Summer Term.

This module aims to provide a reasoned, objective understanding of the issues raised by a number of human activities which intimately involve animals and where the welfare of the animal is commonly perceived to be compromised by the actions of humans.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to: • Discuss the ethical issues related to animal welfare and evaluate the legal protection afforded to animals • Evaluate scientific methods by which animal welfare may be assessed • Analyse the extent of animal suffering resulting from human activities • Design and evaluate a plan to implement solutions to particular animal welfare issues.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
The module provides a wide-ranging review of issues related to animal welfare and suffering. Lectures consider the ethics of animal suffering, legal protection provided to animals, and the means by which animal suffering may be assessed. Consideration is then given to the effects of experimentation, farming and captivity. Much of the course will be of interest to animal scientists, zoologists and biologists.

The Lecture Contents cover:
• Animal welfare and ethics
• Physiological and behavioural measures of welfare
• Problems, solutions and implementation of improved animal welfare
• The welfare of animals in research
• The welfare of farm animals
• The welfare of companion animals
• The welfare of zoo animals.

The Practical Contents cover:
Project work in student teams, involves researching a specified issue of animal welfare. The scale and severity of the issue should be considered, and possible solutions formulated. A plan for implementing these solutions is to be developed, and this is to be presented to the class in a mini-conference at the end of term. The presentation on the welfare issue, an evaluation of a proposed solution and an educational or legislative tool to be used in the development of the solution is to be submitted.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be a two-hour lecture (with a short break in the middle) each week. Supporting video material may be shown. There will be the opportunity for staff and peer feedback on the plans for implementing a solution to the welfare issue identified in the student project in a class session before the mini-conference.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 25
Oral assessment and presentation 25

Other information on summative assessment:
A short team presentation (with supporting material uploaded on Blackboard) is to be given towards the end of term, which presents the scale and severity of the particular welfare issue researched. A potential solution is to be evaluated, and a means of implementing this solution planned and critically analysed in a short report that is to be submitted at the end of term. A legislative or educational ‘tool’ that would form part of the implementation pathway is to be created and presented to the class at the end of term.

Formative assessment methods:
Feedback from the presentation (with the opportunity to revise the uploaded material) will be given orally. There will be the opportunity for discussion with peers and staff on the proposed solution to the welfare issues during the session between the presentation and the final ‘min-conference’.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    A one and a half hour exam requiring one answer from two questions in Section A and one answer from two questions in Section B.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By re-examination in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: approximately £5 for posters or similar, depending on students’ choice 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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