School of Health in Social Science

(2) Closing the gap between research and practice in childhood cruelty prevention

This work was funded through an award from the University of Edinburgh College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS)

November 2018 - October 2019

Closing the gap between research and practice in childhood cruelty prevention: Measuring research impact on animal welfare education policy and practice

Key activities


  • Collaborated closely with the Scottish SPCA to track the impact of our research on the animal welfare educational intervention they deploy to 270,000 Scottish children through their ‘Prevention through Education’ programme. We also tracked the impact of our research on their new organisational priorities and educational target groups


  • Carried out a long-term follow-up online survey to measure the impact of our knowledge exchange events  on practitioners and developed two new reflective workshops


  • Designed and administered an online survey for the first round of a Delphi study of animal welfare education experts. This study aims to achieve consensus on the best ways to teach children about animal welfare and prevent cruelty


  • Tracked public engagement and media coverage to assess how our research is being received, and traffic to three associated websites:
      - Caar
      - #SayNoToPuppyDealers campaign
      - New UK cross-charity collaborative site on animal welfare and cruelty prevention intervention programmes for children


  • Measured and evidenced the impact of our research in terms of UK and Scottish government discussion, support, and innovation in relation to policy and legal changes on the illegal puppy trade


Image of girl holding a dog with details of animal cruelty conference
Key events - click on each one to view associated materials