Animal ethical views and perception of animal pain in veterinary students

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Veterinary students face several ethical challenges during their curriculum. We used the Animal Ethics Dilemma to study animal ethical views of Finnish veterinary students, and also asked them to score the level of pain perception in 13 different species. Based on the 218 respondents, the utilitarian view was the dominating ethical view. Mammals were given higher pain scores than other animals. The proportion of the respect for nature view correlated negatively, and that of the animal rights view positively, with most animal pain scores. Fifth year students had a higher percentage of contractarian view, as compared to 1st and 3rd year students, but this might have been confounded by their age. Several pain perception scorings increased with increasing study year. We conclude that the utilitarian view was clearly dominating, and that ethical views differed only slightly between students at different stages of their studies. Higher pain perception scorings in students at a later stage of their studies might reflect an increased knowledge of animal capacities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number220
Issue number12
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 413 Veterinary science
  • animal ethics
  • veterinary student
  • Animal welfare
  • animal

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