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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Animal Behaviour and Welfare by The University of Edinburgh

3,022 ratings
800 reviews

About the Course

Animal welfare has been described as a complex, multi-faceted public policy issue which includes important scientific, ethical, and other dimensions. Improving our understanding of animal welfare, involves the fascinating study of animal behavior as well as the challenge of accessing the emotions of animals. This is the On-Demand version of this course, which means you can start the course at any time and work through the course materials at your own pace. The materials and quizzes will always be available to you. You can come and talk about the course on Twitter using the hashtag #EdAniWelf...

Top reviews


Jun 22, 2020

This course was very informative and interesting! I enjoyed the lectures as well as the instructors and also loved that it focused on many different kinds animal welfare issues. Definitely recommend!


Apr 28, 2020

Its a nicely designed course. It sheds light on many animal care practices and welfare. Very well instructions and quiz sessions are arranged. Many important learnings and takeaways from the course.

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By Richard N

Feb 21, 2020

Considering the amount of information I think too much material was attempted to be covered. Some of the lectures seemed to be rushed through. I am comparing this with another course I took, Dog Emotion and Cognition where the lecturer took a greater amount of time to cover the material. Perhaps it might be better to do separate courses on the welfare of different animals under different circumstances.

There was a comment by a guest speaker at the beginning of the course talking about the need for greater animal production to feed the increasing human population. However, this is not what many scientists are saying must happen. The only way the ever increasing human population can be fed is with a plant based diet that gets more nutrition from the land and has less impact on the environment. I know this has nothing to do with the course but the authors of the course allowed him to speak so I am insuring that other voices are heard and that increasing farm animals is not the answer to world hunger.

As I am a vegan vegetarian watching the section on Farm Animals was a bit traumatic but I felt necessary to get a better perspective on factory farming. I can never justify factory farming but nevertheless it is the present reality. However, measuring cortisol levels is not a true measure of what any animal endures during its short lifetime in factory farming. It is a measure of reaction to stress for a given period of time and not the lifetime of the animals.

I chose not to view the optional section on slaughter as the word defines itself. With human killing there are ways less painful and quicker but ultimately death is the result.

I don't say the above with any naivete. My family raised chickens, ducks, and rabbits, all of which were slaughtered and ended on the dinner table. I am also not new to animal behavior having done previous coursework and studied the behavior of mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey at Karisoke Research Center in 1974.

I need to submit one more thing and it is a link to a YouTube a lecture by Phillip Wollum at the World Vegan Summit. Animal welfare will only occur when the violence humans perpetrate ends.