YAS-11803 Animal Science Professionals in Society


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work4
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. NM Soede
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. J Nijland
dr. ir. NM Soede
dr. I Reimert
dr. B Bovenkerk
MSc IJMM Boumans
prof. dr. ir. LJ Hellebrekers
dr. ir. B Beerda
prof. dr. ir. B Kemp
dr. I Palm
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. B Kemp

Language of instruction:



Recent social and economic developments have changed how society views animals and animal professionals (such as animal scientists and veterinarians). This course focuses on the role and responsibility of people towards animals, and specifically on the role and responsibility of the animal professionals. Students will learn to reflect on ethical and societal issues in animal science. They will acquire knowledge and insights that will allow them to participate in societal dialogues. In the course, dilemmas involving animal husbandry and breeding practices (i.e. fixed-time AI in dairy cattle, killing day-old male chicks, dangerous dogs and tail docking in pigs) will be evaluated using five perspectives, the practical/technological, welfare, scientific, ethical and sustainability perspective. Students will work in small groups to analyse the role and responsibility of people in general and of animal professionals in particular, using these five perspectives. The final assignment is an individual paper, reflecting on the different perspectives related to a specific case.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- show insight in the different perspectives on dilemmas in animal science;
- argue (in writing and orally) about the different perspectives in a specific case;
- show insight in their personal values, opinions and attitudes to become (more) aware of the societal responsibilities of an animal science professional.


- interactive lectures;
- participation in working groups;
- writing group papers and an individual paper; 
- peer review of written assignments.


Grading of  reports. No written exam.


Course guide, handouts and Brightspace.

Compulsory for: BASAnimal SciencesBSc5AF