BSAVA publishes WSAVA Animal Welfare Guidelines - Veterinary Practice
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BSAVA publishes WSAVA Animal Welfare Guidelines

The BSAVA is supporting the important role of veterinarians as advocates for animal welfare by publishing the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Animal Welfare Global Guidelines for Companion Animal Practitioners and the Veterinary Team in the May issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP).

JSAP is the official scientific journal of the BSAVA and also the WSAVA. It has previously published WSAVA guidelines on vaccination, nutrition and pain management, and these are among the journal’s most-accessed articles.

The Guidelines, first launched during 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 well-being.

The Guidelines were reviewed in 2018 by the BSAVA Scientific Committee and the BSAVA Policy Group on Animal Welfare & Ethics. Sue Paterson, BSAVA President, said: “The BSAVA is very supportive of the comprehensive approach taken by the WSAVA Animal Welfare Guidelines Group. They not only promote the understanding of contemporary animal welfare concepts and related science but also provide important guidance on addressing potential animal welfare challenges across diverse global cultures.”

Shane Ryan, President of the WSAVA and former Chair of the WSAVA Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee, continued: “As veterinarians, our responsibility extends far beyond the physical health of our patients. 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.”

“As levels of pet ownership increase in many regions of the world, including Asia, it is essential that veterinarians champion animal welfare and the WSAVA hopes that these new Guidelines will encourage our members to adopt best practice and set the highest standards.”

The (WSAVA) Animal Welfare Global Guidelines for Companion Animal Practitioners and the Veterinary Team can be found in the May issue of JSAP (available here), together with an accompanying editorial.

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