School classroom programs - Animal behaviour and health prevention

“Animal behaviour and school’s health prevention programs"


Dr. Paolo Zucca DVM PhD BSc. Psychol. (Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia) 
Dr. Alessandro Bremini (Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia)
Dr. Marie-Christin Rossmann DVM (Land Kaernten)
Mag. Ingrid Fischinger DVM (Land Kaernten)
Dr. Ernst Stifter DVM (Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano)
Dr. Giulia Morosetti DVM (Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano) 
Steven Seet (Head Unit Science Communication & International Affaris, IZW Berlin)
Dr. Mitja Dodic DVM (Slovenja)
Prof. Yashwant Ramma, Mauritius Institute of Education (Mauritius)
Prof. Toshiya Matsushima, University of Hokkaido (Japan)
Mr. Takahashi-sensei, President of Jiyugakuen School (Japan)


1. Zoonoses: diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans are defined as zoonoses. The spread of these diseases in the human population is often linked to human activity, and the illegal trade of pet animals is an important route of transmission of zoonoses. In fact, animals bought on the black market may come from infected areas, and not be checked from the health point of view. Families with children are often the final buyers of pets coming from the illegal market. Concern about pathogen transmission between animals and humans is an important public health consideration. The risk of zoonotic transmission is real, but prevention strategies will reduce the potential for transmission.

2. Human-animal relationship: the acquisition of knowledge and skills on the correct human-animal relationship and on the problem of illegal pet trafficking is a fundamental step in the school’s health prevention programs. Understanding what an animal is "saying" increases empathy and respect and can also keep children safe. 


  • Providing tools for a better understanding of pets behaviour. 
  • Acquiring knowledge for a correct human-animal interaction by analyzing the positive aspects and possible health problems of this interaction 
  • Understanding the risk of zoonotic transmission and the concept of “One-Health”
  • Improving animal welfare
  • Providing a better understanding of Law enforcements K9 unit activities (drugs, bomb and tobacco’s dogs)
  • Pet therapy dog’s activities

Learing outcomes: preliminary results show that more than 30% of middle school children from Friuli Venezia Giulia and Carinthia do not know what zoonoses are, they do not know that animals can transmit diseases to humans and vice versa and do not have the basic knowledge of the rules for a safe interaction with animals. This is a notable gap in the health prevention programs in the field of human-animal interactions. Two theoretical-practical classrooms are enough to improve student’s knowledge about these topics, reducing their exposure to health risk.

Age target: middle school class (11-12 years-old children).

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