The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has highlighted the key role of veterinarians as advocates for animal welfare with the launch of its Animal Welfare Global Guidelines for Companion Animal Practitioners and the Veterinary Team.
The guidelines, launched during the recent WSAVA World Congress 2018 in Singapore, aim to bridge differing perceptions of welfare around the world and help veterinarians to tackle the ethical questions and moral issues which impact welfare.
They also offer guidance to ensure that, in addition to providing physical health advice and therapy to their patients, veterinarians can advocate for their psychological, social and environmental wellbeing.
“As veterinarians, our responsibility extends far beyond the physical health of our patients,” said Dr Shane Ryan, incoming president of WSAVA and former chair of the WSAVA Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee.
“Animal welfare as a science is a new and rapidly developing discipline and veterinarians need current, evidence-based information to enable them to maintain the highest welfare standards and to provide knowledgeable, accurate advice for pet owners and communities.
“Our new guidelines provide recommendations, checklists and other tools to promote optimal levels of welfare throughout the veterinary visit. They also offer guidance on increasing welfare beyond the doors of the clinic through outreach activities.”