WSAVA releases first global guidelines for companion animal practitioners

The guidelines aim to help veterinarians tackle ethical questions, moral issues that impact welfare

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is highlighting the key role of veterinarians as animal welfare advocates with the launch of its Animal Welfare Global Guidelines for Companion Animal Practitioners and the Veterinary Team.

The guidelines, introduced during WSAVA World Congress 2018 in Singapore, aim to bridge differing perceptions of welfare around the world and help veterinarians to tackle the ethical questions and moral issues that impact welfare. They offer guidance to ensure that veterinarians can advocate for animals’ psychological, social, and environmental well-being.

WSAVA currently offers Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, vaccination, nutrition, and dentistry.

“As veterinarians, our responsibility extends far beyond the physical health of our patients,” said Shane Ryan, BVSc, MVC, CVA, MRCVS, incoming president of WSAVA and former chair of the WSAVA Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee. “Animal welfare as a science is a new and rapidly developing discipline and veterinarians need current, evidence-based information to enable them to maintain the highest welfare standards and to provide knowledgeable, accurate advice for pet owners and communities.

“Our new guidelines provide recommendations, checklists, and other tools to promote optimal levels of welfare throughout the veterinary visit. They also offer guidance on increasing welfare beyond the doors of the clinic through outreach activities.”

Throughout 2018 and 2019, WSAVA will develop relevant continuing education and provide additional guideline tools and translations.

The Animal Welfare Global Guidelines for Companion Animal Practitioners and the Veterinary Team are available for free download at



Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *