A Commentary on the Animal Welfare Symposium, With Possible Actions
Morton, David B
Journal of veterinary medical education 2010 Spring; 37(1): 107-13
The author analyzes the common themes addressed by speakers at the AVMA/AAVMC conference on animal welfare, adding a few comments of his own. These themes can be summarized in the basic statement that "the veterinary profession has a responsibility to its members and to the public to provide and ensure a good education in animal welfare science, ethics, and public policy and law." Veterinarians have a special role as animals' advocates for several reasons: they have the knowledge base and the required skills and commitment to fulfill this role; they have earned the confidence and respect of the constituents they serve; they are the professionals to whom policy makers logically turn for guidance on animal health and welfare issues. Therefore, the veterinary profession has an opportunity to reassert itself as the advocate not only for animals' physical health but also for their mental health and welfare. To be successful, however, the profession's leadership and members must engage without delay in advancing educational programs, research projects, and outreach to solidify authority in this key component of veterinary medicine.
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