A set of global guidelines to assist vets in providing optimal companion animal welfare is being developed by the WSAVA.

Shane Ryan
Shane Ryan announcing the global guidelines at WSAVA World Congress in Cartagena, Colombia.

The guidelines will set out recommendations for the vet team in clinical settings, following every interaction with the pet to ensure, in addition to providing the very best health advice and therapy, they offer evidence-based information and guidance to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the animal, the owner and themselves.

Launch at 2018 congress

The guidelines will be launched at WSAVA World Congress in Singapore in 2018. The association already offers global guidelines in areas including vaccination, nutrition and pain management.

Shane Ryan, co-chairman of the organisation’s animal wellness and welfare committee, said: “Animal welfare involves more than ensuring the animal’s physical health.

“Vets act as the pet’s advocate – as the animal’s voice in the consultation room – and we have the responsibility and the opportunity to help owners care for their pets in a way that optimises their welfare and quality of life.”

Rapidly developing discipline

He added: “Animal welfare science is a new and rapidly developing discipline, and, as a result, many vets may not be completely up to date with contemporary animal welfare concepts. Current and scientifically-supported information is necessary to enable them to maintain the highest welfare standards and answer questions confidently, both from their clients and the public.

“Given the importance of the human-animal bond, our global guidelines will provide comprehensive and pragmatic advice on all aspects of welfare in the clinical setting, both from a veterinary and owner perspective.”


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