Taking body condition scoring from the paddock to the courtroom

You may never have to defend your opinions or decisions in court, but increasing attention to issues of animal welfare means that there is also increased liklihood of veterinarians being called to attend court and account for - and be cross examined on - the rationale behind thier diagnosis and professional decisions. "Thin", "poor", "ill-thrift" and "skinny" are frequently used in the farming vocabulary but use of these terms in witness statements by veterinarians is unprofessional, vague, and indicative of inadequate familiarity with appropriate reference criteria used in industry and relevant legal instruments including the codes of welfare. (Vetscript June 2010)

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