Application of Fraser’s “Practical” Ethic in Veterinary Practice, and Its Compatibility with a “One Welfare” Framework
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford BS40 5DU, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 May 2018
Revised: 25 June 2018
Accepted: 28 June 2018
Published: 3 July 2018
Ethically challenging situations are common in veterinary practice. Veterinary ethics is considered important by veterinary students, educators, and regulators alike, and may help to reduce stress arising from ethically challenging situations in veterinarians. Ethical frameworks are designed to aid ethical decision making, but some students may find theoretical ethical terminology off-putting and may struggle to apply frameworks to real-life decisions. Fraser’s “practical” ethic is a series of principles that can be applied in ethically challenging situations. We discuss the development of this approach and apply it to examples of ethically challenging situations that veterinarians may encounter. Because Fraser’s “practical” ethic acknowledges the interdependence of animal welfare, human well-being, and the environment, we argue that it is consistent with a One Welfare framework, adopted by organisations, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). We describe the strengths and limitations of Fraser’s “practical” ethic, and the One Welfare framework, when employed in veterinary contexts, and recommend further training and support to enable veterinarians to effectively apply these frameworks.