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Speaking Up: Veterinary Ethical Responsibilities and Animal Welfare Issues in Everyday Practice

Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2018, 8(1), 15;
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 31 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics)
PDF [10774 KB, uploaded 29 January 2018]
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Although expectations for appropriate animal care are present in most developed countries, significant animal welfare challenges continue to be seen on a regular basis in all areas of veterinary practice. Veterinary ethics is a relatively new area of educational focus but is thought to be critically important in helping veterinarians formulate their approach to clinical case management and in determining the overall acceptability of practices towards animals. An overview is provided of how veterinary ethics are taught and how common ethical frameworks and approaches are employed—along with legislation, guidelines and codes of professional conduct—to address animal welfare issues. Insufficiently mature ethical reasoning or a lack of veterinary ethical sensitivity can lead to an inability or difficulty in speaking up about concerns with clients and ultimately, failure in their duty of care to animals, leading to poor animal welfare outcomes. A number of examples are provided to illustrate this point. Ensuring that robust ethical frameworks are employed will ultimately help veterinarians to “speak up” to address animal welfare concerns and prevent future harms. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethics; advocacy; animal welfare; veterinary practice ethics; advocacy; animal welfare; veterinary practice

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Hernandez, E.; Fawcett, A.; Brouwer, E.; Rau, J.; Turner, P.V. Speaking Up: Veterinary Ethical Responsibilities and Animal Welfare Issues in Everyday Practice. Animals 2018, 8, 15.

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