Presentation on theme: "Veterinary Development Council"— Presentation transcript:
1 Veterinary Development Council The future role of the veterinary profession in protecting and improving farm animal welfareChristopher WathesAcknowledgements: Nick Bell, Dan Brockman, Sandra Corr, Steve Lister, Claire Wathes, Colin Whittemore, Steven Van Winden and Angela Wright
2 A veterinary education produces a comparative zoologist with expertise in animal disease and comparative biology, who is an analyser and solver of complex veterinary problemsWicked problemsAre vets professionals?To whom are vets responsible? The client, the patient or their business?What should be their future role and who should be their role model?
3 Depth vs. Breadth of knowledge Of aVetScientistPara – vetConsultantAt day oneAfter board certification or PhDWith experienceWith experiencePhDBoard-certifiedAt graduation
4 Animals in the UK in 2009 Broiler chickens; 840 m Farmed salmon; ~80 m Lambs; 16 m from 15 m ewesPigs; 9 m from 0.45 m sowsCattle; 2.6 m from 3.5 m cowsMilk; 13 m l from 1.9 m dairy cowsEggs; 9 b from 30 m hensLaboratory procedures; 3.5 mCats and dogs; ~20 mAnimals in the UK in 2009
5 British Law on Animal Welfare ActScopeCruel Treatment of Cattle 1822Prevent cruel treatment of cattleProtection of Animals 1911Avoid unnecessary suffering - through an act of commission or omissionAgriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) 1968Prevention of unnecessary pain and distress for livestock; powers of entryAnimal Welfare 2006Provision of animal needsCruelty to Animals 1876A licensing system for animal experimentationAnimals (Scientific Procedures) 1986Improved licensing system for animal experimentation
6 Feeding the world: Sustainable intensification with compassion "By 2020, if not earlier, in China and India a middle class of about 700 to 750 million people with a buying power comparable to that in Europe today, will have completely changed the market situation for food in East and South Central Asia”.Professor Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst; International Egg Commission
7 How do we ensure an acceptable quality of life for a farm animal? Citizens’ attitudesLegislationCommercial practiceQuality of a life7
8 Don’t know and don’t care Don’t know but do careKnow but don’t careKnow and careAfter Donald Rumsfeld, 2002
9 Castration & tail docking GatheringsCastration & tail dockingWelfare and EthicsMarket forcesLesser of two evilsPolitical dilemmasPoultry slaughter
10 Water – Supermarket 40 p to £1/l Welfare and EconomicsMilk – Farm 26 p/lMilk – Supermarket 67 p/lWater – Supermarket 40 p to £1/l
14 Necessary conditions for ethical consumers and improved farm animal welfare The Government to act as the guardian of farm animal welfareStandards for a ‘good life’ defined by an independent bodyMinimum welfare standard defined by quality of lifeStockmen to be educated and trained to a high standard about welfareWelfare assessment to be valid, feasible and rigorous with independent auditDue diligence in the food chain with marketing claims verifiedCitizens educated about food and farming from childhoodAnimal products to be labelled according to welfare provenance to provide consumer choice
15 Problems and solutions "In as much as the privilege of membership of The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is about to be conferred upon me, I promise and solemnly declare that I will abide in all due loyalty to The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and will do all in my power to maintain and promote its interests. I promise above all that I will pursue the work of my profession with uprightness of conduct and that my constant endeavour will be to ensure the welfare of animals committed to my care“.University fees — paying back the loanWho pays for what? Choices …Veterinary curriculumDon’t overcrowdVet. undergraduates are mostly women, who will work in small animal practiceWhat’s the problem?Interest of vets in inspection for QA schemesIncentivise and trainKnowledge of animal husbandryUG tracking and PG CPD courses on animal breeding, nutrition, housing, managementDisease prevention vs. Fire fightingPayment for health and welfare plans. Visits to the dentist …Individual vs. HerdAn ethical dilemma: the solution depends on the role modelSustainable intensificationOK if it’s done with compassionPhysical vs. Mental healthCount feelings tooPatient vs. ClientGuardians of farm animal welfareAccept the responsibility?
16 Role models? Agri-business vet Society’s vet Paid by and working for farmers (and the food chain)Roles: part of the agricultural service sector, often supporting farm assurance schemes; private welfare surveillance without publicationDuties: advice to farmers; problem solving; fire fightingPaid for by the tax-payer, allowing them to ‘sleep easily’Roles: protect human health and wellbeing; public welfare surveillance with findings publishedDuties: advice to citizens; public health; a welfare guardian