Radical change has arrived in the implementation of companion animal vaccination strategies. Accompanying these changes is the adoption of evidenced-based veterinary medicine practices (FBVM), new vaccine technologies, and major advances in our understanding of immunology. In veterinary immunology, we have moved to an enlightened view of how we prudently use the immune system in companion animals. We have become more discerning in opting for vaccines that elicit the most appropriate, reliable and enduring immune response against disease with the least physiological cost and risk to the...more >>
When we have textbooks devoted to the 'production diseases' in farm animals, the time as come for deeper introspection and to reassess how we are caring for our animals today and whether the increased dependency on 'immunological fixes' we are embracing are actually papering over the deficits of husbandry.
by Kent W. Deitemeyer
Observation of behaviour, especially social behaviour, and experimental studies of learning and brain function give us information about the complexity of concepts that animals have. In order to learn to obtain a resource or carry out an action, domestic animals may: relate stimuli such as human words to the reward, perform sequences of actions including navigation or detours, discriminate amongst other individuals, copy the actions of other individuals, distinguish between individuals who do or do not have information, or communicate so as to cause humans or other animals...more >>
People feel that they have obligations to the animals that they use and show some degree of care behavior toward them. In addition, animal welfare is an aspect of our decisions about whether animal-usage systems are sustainable. A system that results in poor welfare is unsustainable because it is unacceptable to many people. The quality of animal products is now judged in relation to the ethics of production, including impact on the animal’s welfare on immediate features and on consequences for consumers. Because genetic selection and management for high productivity...more >>
Animal welfare has been more arid more widely accepted as a scientific discipline during the last 25 years and our knowledge of animal functioning; including the extent to which they are sentient has increased. One result of this has been that the public have demanded more legislation to protect animals and this has been passed in increasing numbers of countries but there are still many countries that do not have adequate laws protecting animals. One of the key ways to improve animal welfare in the long term is for all those who use or have responsibility for animals to...more >>
Animal welfare is the subject of rapidly increasing concern in most countries in the world and this concern is resulting in changes in the ways in which animal users keep and treat animals. The welfare of an individual is its state as regards its attempts to cope with its environment. This includes the state of all coping systems, including those responding to pathology, various behavioural and physiological responses and processes in the brain. Welfare includes health and the extent of positive and negative feelings. The statement that welfare means being in harmony with...more >>
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...more >>
This is a peer-reviewed paper in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal which considers the responsibilities of veterinarians to report suspected abuse of both animals and humans, and the associated legal and ethical duties. Currently, New Zealand veterinarians may face a risk of legal liability when reporting abuse. Suggestions are made for the profession to adopt a policy of mandatory reporting and the provision of legislative immunity to facilitate the involvment of veterinary professionals in addressing the societal issues of violence and abuse. The implications of such...more >>
Which nonhuman animals experience conscious pain?
This question is central to the debate about animal welfare, as well as being of basic interest to scientists and philosophers of mind. This question is addressed in a paper kindly forwarded by Dr. Colin Allen to International Animal Law. The paper "Animal Pain" can be read in by clicking here>>
An additional paper entitled "Ethics and the Science of Animal Minds" can be viewed by clicking here...more >>