Influence of socio-demographic and experiential factors on the attitudes of Croatian veterinary students towards farm animal welfare
The aim of this study was to examine the factors influencing the attitudes of veterinary students in Croatia toward farm animal welfare. The survey was carried out at the only faculty of veterinary medicine in Croatia and included students from all years of the integrated undergraduate and graduate study programme. The response rate was 91% (n = 505 subjects). According to the socio-demographic and experiential factors observed, females, students in their initial years of study, younger students with urban backgrounds, non-religious/non-spiritual students and vegetarians, and those intending to work with companion animals expressed more concerned attitudes regarding farm animal welfare (all P < 0.05). The type of secondary school completed, family monthly income and previous experience with farm or pet animals had no impact on student attitudes. The results of the study point to a variety of factors influencing veterinary student attitudes towards farm animal welfare. A recognition of these factors can contribute considerably to increasing student awareness of farm animal welfare. These results provide a basis for further research into the factors influencing veterinary attitudes to animal welfare and the complexity of their interactions.
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