Attitudes of Turkish veterinarians towards animal welfare
A survey was carried out to examine the attitudes of Turkish veterinarians towards animal welfare issues. The email questionnaire consisted of three sections of statements with a five-point Likert scale for choices of answer. The first section included statements examining the attitudes of Turkish veterinarians to animal welfare issues relating to European Union (EU) Legislation (93/119/EC, 95/29/EC, 2002/4EC and Council Regulation 1/2005). In the second, statements were designed to ascertain veterinarian attitudes towards the recently-passed Animal Protection Law, TR-5199. The statements in the last section were designed to assess the respondents' personal beliefs on a variety of welfare topics. The survey was sent to 615 veterinarians and the response rate was 40.2%. Turkish veterinarians expressed considerable support for the implications of animal welfare with the exception of statements regarding 'stunning of ruminants pre-slaughter', 'phasing out of battery cages for poultry' and 'not operating on animals for aesthetic purposes'. In addition, they did not agree with the statements related to 'ethological needs of farm animals' and 'effectiveness of EU laws and legislation in Turkey'. Females had higher mean values than males. The results of the survey indicated that significant concern for animal welfare issues is seen in the Turkish veterinarian population. Although the process of becoming a fully-integrated member of the EU will not occur rapidly, the influence of veterinarians could potentially enhance animal welfare in Turkey.
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