International animal welfare organisation World Animal Protection is calling on veterinary professionals around the world to help develop a global standard of animal welfare in veterinary schools.
Previously known as WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals), the welfare group has launched a survey that seeks veterinary opinion on what the voluntary standard should cover, what it should be called and how it should be assessed.
The survey – available in English, Chinese, French, Korean, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai and Vietnamese – takes around 10 minutes to complete and covers the various aspects of veterinary education, including teaching, research and “organisational culture”.
So far the survey has attracted more than 2,000 vets from 93 countries, but the charity is looking to boost the number to 5,000 by September 2014.
Titus Alexander of World Animal Protection said: “We wholeheartedly support the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) commitment to ensuring every veterinary graduate, anywhere in the world, has a good understanding of animal welfare as a day one competency.
“We need as many vets as possible to take part in the consultation about the 10 standards because they provide support for the role of veterinarians as leading advocates of animal welfare, so we’d love you to help us with this.”
OIE director general Bernard Vallat said: “The ability of graduating veterinarians to identify animal welfare problems, participate in corrective actions, know where to find current and credible information regarding animal welfare regulations and standards, and to explain the responsibilities of those responsible for the care of animals is fundamental to the practice of veterinary medicine at both the private and public level.”