gms | German Medical Science

4th InVeST – International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference

14.09. - 16.09.2015, Hannover

Student’s perception about harmful use of animals in Veterinary Education in Brazil

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Rosangela Gebara - Department of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • author Julia Matera - Department of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

InVeST 2015: International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference. Hannover, 14.-16.09.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. Doc15invest41

doi: 10.3205/15invest41, urn:nbn:de:0183-15invest410

Veröffentlicht: 10. September 2015

© 2015 Gebara et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Brazil currently ranks first in the world in number of veterinary schools, currently has 183 cursos1 There is no official data on how animals are used in veterinary medicine education, how many are killed for this purpose, how many go through harmful procedures that affected their physiological and psychological welfare and what colleges are already using humane methods in veterinary and life science courses.

Similarly, there is not any wide-ranging study that demonstrates the opinion of the veterinary students about this important issue that permeates the daily lives of tens of academic courses.

In an on-going study, an online questionnaire (with 26 semi opened questions) was applied to 1383 students of veterinary medicine from 27 states of Brazil, and it can be demonstrated up to the present time, most of these respondents understand some important and relevant concepts regarding use of animals in Veterinary Education.

Most (45.3%) of respondents, that was asked if they know about the concept of the 3Rs (replace, reduce and refine) regarding the use of animals in teaching and research”, said “Yes” and 12.6% answered, “They know in part”.

In another question, 84.7% answered they mean by “harmful use” of animals in teaching, - “Euthanasia of healthy animals for a demonstration classes” and in the second place (82.8%) - “An invasive procedure (surgery, suture, endotracheal intubation, etc.) in a healthy animal, which does not need such a procedure”.

When they were asked about - Which would be the main ADVANTAGES of the use of “substitutive methods” when compared to the harmful use of animals in the Vet school? Most respondents (88.6%), answered that the main advantage is “To be a method ethically acceptable, where there is no cruelty to animals.”

In another question, about the IMPORTANCE of adopting humane & substitutive methods and no longer use live animals in a harmful way in the undergraduate education, 73% of respondents said “Yes, they should adopt substitutive methods because as veterinarians have the ethical and professional obligation to ensure welfare and respect animals”, showing that for these students there is a moral obligation of vet professional regarding animals.

Although the study is not yet complete, with these preliminary data we can say that this sample of students show us to be familiar with concepts of harmful use of animals, substitutive methods and 3Rs, and they believe that Veterinary colleges should adopt such humane methods as an ethical obligation.

As in most of the times, the driving force for changes in traditional teaching methods are the students1, know about these issues is a very important tool for students around the world, demonstrating the importance of discussing this issue with this population.

Figure 1 [Fig. 1], Figure 2 [Fig. 2]


Knight A. The costs and benefits of animal experiments. 1st ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan; 2013. 254 p. (The palgrave macmillan Animal ethics series)