Both the public and the international institutions that regulate the veterinary profession have high expectations that veterinarians will understand and take the lead in issues of animal welfare. These expectations provide a powerful argument for the need to teach animal welfare. The objective of this paper is to share the experiences of animal welfare teaching in South America, examining which topics seem relevant and why. It builds upon the core international literature on teaching animal welfare to veterinary students, highlights priorities learned through direct experience of teaching this topic in South America, and has benefited from the experiences of other South American animal welfare professors. In addition, the authors discuss major challenges in the animal welfare field and propose the perceived best strategies. The overall conclusion of the authors is that it is not possible to work as a veterinarian and make a valuable contribution to society unless the main concepts and issues of animal welfare are thoroughly understood and incorporated into practice.
Animal welfare – Curriculum – Humanitarianism – Latin America – Mandatory curriculum – South America – Veterinary education – Veterinary medicine.