Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Veterinarian's Oath

Almost four years ago I took a position at the American Veterinary Medical Association as an Animal Welfare Scientist.  I did this in part because the veterinary profession is hugely influential when it comes to the treatment of animals, they are widely respected as animal experts.  I also felt that veterinarians were becoming more progressive when it came to animal welfare issues and had the potential to be a real. agent of change

I think this increased willingness to step forward was signalled in the recent changes made to the veterinarians oath.  Just a few words here and there, but a giant leap in meaning and engagement with animal welfare and the opportunities we have to prevent rather than only treat animal suffering.  The added words are underlined.  I suppose quite a few vet schools and practices will need to get new plaques made, but I--for one--think it is well worth the investment.
"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge."

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