Legal implications of euthanasia without owner consent

Louise Olley
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

A veterinary surgeon and registered veterinary nurse must act in accordance with an animal owner's wishes and should respect their confidentiality. This can cause conflict as animal welfare should also be considered as a priority. Contradictory messages from legislation and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses are confusing, however, guidance from these suggests that animal welfare overrides all. To practice clinical governance, veterinary teams should discuss ethical scenarios to prepare all staff for prioritising animal welfare while considering the views of the owner.

Table 1. Five Animal Welfare Needs (Animal Welfare Act, 2006)
Table 1. Five Animal Welfare Needs (Animal Welfare Act, 2006)

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