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ACE3022 : Animal Welfare and Environment

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Catherine Douglas
  • Lecturer: Dr Jonathan Guy
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The module aims to develop understanding of the impact of the environment on farm and companion animals and, conversely, the effect of managed livestock systems on the environment. The module aims to enable students to discuss the complex issues of animal welfare, from a scientific, ethical and practical perspective, and be aware of the bi-directional relationships between the animal and the environment in which it is kept.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is introduced discussing ethical considerations surrounding animal welfare and animal welfare legislation, we then use the Five Freedoms as a framework to explore the following:

- Impact of the physical and social environment on animal welfare and physiology
- Relationship between animal health and animal welfare
- Behavioural needs and environmental enrichment
- Impact of the climatic environment on animal welfare and physiology along with managing the climatic environment in animal facilities.
- Assessing and improving animal welfare of companion animals, and of farmed animals, including assessment of positive emotions.

The student uses this knowledge and that from further research into their chosen species to devise and undertakes an assessed welfare audit of a livestock or companion animal (on the university farm or local dog and cat shelter).
The module finally considers the impact of animals on the environment: pollution, legislation and planning issues.
This module would suit any student interested in animal management or welfare especially if aiming for a career in this field.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion19:009:00Preparation for assessed practical class
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Write up of assessed practical report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical14:004:00Practical class on welfare assessment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study111:0011:00Lecture follow up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study142:0042:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and guided independent reading provide the theoretical background to animal welfare and environmental impact determination in different systems of production and animal keeping. An assessed practical exercise on welfare assessment allow this knowledge to be applied to real-world situations. The assessment involves a report which allows students to integrate information from different areas of the module as well as developing skills in information acquisition.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A702 questions from a choice of 5
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M30A report (1,000 words) on a welfare assessment practical using a farm or companion animal species
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exam tests understanding of the theoretical and practical issues in assuring the welfare of animals and minimising their impact on the environment. The in course assessment requires students to design, implement and critically evaluate a practical welfare assessment protocol for a farm or companion species.

Study abroad students may request a take-away exam paper to be returned via NESS.

Reading Lists