Evaluation of Online Training to Improve Animal Welfare of Cattle during Transport and Slaughter from the Perspective of Animal Welfare officers and official Veterinarians

Author(s): Svea Nicolaisen, Christa Thöne-Reineke, Mechthild Wiegard

Animal welfare during transport and slaughter is a major concern for the European livestock industry. Despite existing legislation and guidelines, it remains challenging to achieve optimal animal welfare standards during these processes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of two multilingual online animal welfare training modules designed for less educated slaughterhouse work hands and livestock transport drivers. The training modules focused separately on animal behavior and cattle handling, with an emphasis on visual teaching materials such as pictures and videos. An online survey was conducted, in which 25 official veterinarians and animal welfare officers participated, who evaluated the two training modules. The survey included questions on design, ease of use, comprehensibility, and learning content. Participants rated the modules positively, with the majority awarding very good or good ratings for the design, layout, content, structure, and usability of the videos and interactive elements. Results also indicated that the modules provided comprehensive information and were appropriate in terms of scope and completion time. Participants expressed satisfaction with the content and agreed to use the training program themselves for teaching purposes. Feedback from the open questions indicated the strengths and areas for improvement of the modules. This study contributes to the improvement of online training materials to promote animal welfare. By providing slaughterhouse and livestock transport employees with the necessary knowledge and skills, this training program has the potential to improve animal welfare practices, reduce stress levels for workers and animals, and improve the overall work environment. Further research and development of targeted online training modules should be encouraged to improve animal welfare standards during transport and slaughter.

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