Programme: Animal Behaviour and Welfare MOOC


MOOC's (Massive Open Online Course) are open access courses that are available online. The Animal Behaviour and Welfare MOOC has been developed as a joint effort between SRUC and University of Edinburgh and is available through Coursera.

Animals occupy a huge part of the planet and our lives. We rely on them for aspects of our own wellbeing: food, draught power, medical advances, clothing, sport as well as for our pleasure, protection and comfort, but often their quality of life is questionable. Appreciating the different behavioural needs of the various species we interact with and understanding how animals experience the world they live in enables us to gain a better understanding of their welfare requirements, so that long term improvements to animal lives can be made.

There are now more than 60 billion land animals raised for meat each year around the world, and with increasing human populations and a rise in meat consumption in many parts of the world, these figures are set to double by 2050. Added to this is a growing world population of dogs and cats, many of whom are strays with associated health and welfare issues. International concern for animal welfare continues to grow with rising demand for measures to protect animals and improve their care and wellbeing. The link between animal welfare and human wellbeing is clear, and yet we still have a long way to go if we are to address welfare needs globally. Finding ways to achieve higher standards of animal welfare, is therefore a key priority for both developed and developing nations. Due to gaining in importance internationally, there is increasing recognition of the need for animal welfare issues to be addressed objectively in a scientifically credible manner.

In this animal behaviour and welfare course, you will learn about animal welfare and why it matters, develop an understanding of some of the main welfare issues animals have to cope with as well as gaining an insight into the behavioural needs and the emotions of dogs, cats, farmed animals and captive wildlife.

For more information visit the Animal Behaviour and Welfare MOOC at Coursera.

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