Animal Welfare Worldwide, the Opinion of Practicing Veterinarians

The objective of this study was to investigate the animal welfare issues considered the most important by companion animal veterinarians worldwide. For this purpose, a global survey of several potential animal welfare issues was distributed via SurveyMonkey® in multiple languages. The distribution of survey responses differed by region. The main animal welfare concern reported worldwide was obesity, although there were differences across regions, possibly due to cultural and socioeconomic factors. Anthropomorphism (attributing human qualities or characteristics to an animal) was an issue in western countries but less so in Asia, Africa, and Oceania. There were significant differences between Asia and Europe, Africa, and Oceania in the importance and prevalence of convenience euthanasia. There were also age and sex differences in participant responses, with older veterinarians reporting fewer welfare problems than younger veterinarians, and female veterinarians reporting more welfare issues than their male counterparts.