Animal welfare knowledge, attitudes, and practices among livestock holders in Ethiopia

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Improving animal welfare is a human responsibility and influenced by a person’s values and experiences. Thus, it is critical to have an in-depth understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and practices of animal welfare among animal owners.

For livestock in Ethiopia, the greatest proportion of livestock are reared by pastoral and mixed crop-livestock communities.

A cross-sectional survey covering a range of species and animal welfare aspects was carried out on 197 households (117 pastoralists and 80 crop-livestock owners) and recorded information on 34 animal welfare knowledge, attitudes and practices items. The findings are published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science (Nov 2022).

Generally, households practising mixed crop-livestock farming system had better animal welfare knowledge, attitude and practice than pastoralists. Mixed crop-livestock farmers had better knowledge on items related to observing the nutrition condition of the animal, animal–human relationship, the importance of water, and health inspection compared to pastoralists.

In contrast, pastoralists had better knowledge of items related to natural behaviour expression, animal care and animal suffering than mixed crop-livestock farmers.

KAP scores demonstrate the need for targeted training to improve animal well-being (i.e., housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling) across livestock holding communities in Ethiopia.

Alemayehu, G., Berhe, T., Gelan, E., Mokria, M., Jaldessa, J., Molu, J., Wieland, B., Knight-Jones, T. and Doyle, R.E. 2022. Animal welfare knowledge, attitudes, and practices among livestock holders in Ethiopia. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 9: 1006505.

Photo credit: A pastor and his dog, Yabello, Ethiopia, (ILRI/Camille Hanotte)

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