The role of the veterinarian as a spokesperson for animal welfare

Animal welfare is an essential aspect of sustainable livestock production systems. Additionally, ethical responsibility towards animals and consumer expectations have increased animal welfare.

Animals are expected to be kept in environments where they can be free from unnecessary suffering, be able to express their natural behaviors, and not suffer from frustration or boredom. In general, the environment should be designed to suit the needs of the animals, not the other way around.

In this sense, the General Assembly of the FVE (Federation of European Veterinarians) has approved the document “Animal welfare strategy: The veterinary voice for the animals of Europe”. The FVE clarifies the vision of the European veterinarian and the role of the veterinary profession.

In this regard, they were identified six areas of action to work on animal welfare that require initiatives and experience in the field of veterinary medicine.

First, they highlight the evaluation of animal welfare and consider that veterinary professional associations must ensure a practical approach to ensure the welfare of all animals.

They also point out that the veterinary profession must be based on the ethics of animal welfare. In this way, the improvement of animal welfare would become a motivating and explicit objective

Regarding the legal aspects, the FVE believes that veterinarians should know the legislation on animal welfare and be an active part in its applicationas well as in training

Furthermore, as interpreters for animal welfare, the FVE encourages veterinarians to become its spokespersons.

Likewise, in the document they state that the EVF should be a platform for the dissemination of good practices. Analyze the works of other countries, evaluate them, publish them and disseminate information to other members.

Finally, they argue that the veterinary profession should focus more on climate change and the relationship between agriculture and climate.

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