Current and Future Ethical Challenges Facing the Veterinary Profession

The research report ‘Current and Future Ethical Challenges Facing the Veterinary Profession in Ireland’ was launched at the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine on Tuesday 6 September 2016.

The Veterinary Council of Ireland’s Educational Trust Newman Fellowship in Veterinary Ethics supported the research, which was conducted by Dr Manuel Magalhães-Sant’Ana under the guidance of Dr Alison Hanlon and Steering Committee members: Professor Simon More, Professor Emeritus David Morton and Ms Meta Osborne.

The two year research programme had four objectives:

1. Review the current structures in veterinary ethics (e.g. policy and regulation, ethical frameworks and principles, veterinary values) in Ireland, and other selected European countries.

2. Explore the perception of current and future ethical challenges facing the veterinary profession in Ireland.

3. Research issues in veterinary ethics identified by stakeholders using a case-study approach.

4. Develop a practical toolbox to support decision-making, policy and regulation in veterinary ethics.

A major component of the research was to engage with senior veterinary professionals in Ireland using a Policy Delphi consultation process to identify key risks and potential solutions to current ethical challenges in the profession.

Three peer reviewed publications have arisen from this research:

  • Magalhães-Sant’Ana, M., More, S.J., Morton, D.B., Osborne, M., Hanlon, A. (2015) What do European veterinary codes of conduct actually say and mean? A case study approach. Veterinary Record 176, 654 [doi: 10.1136/vr.103005]
  • Magalhães-Sant’Ana, M., More S.J., Morton D.B., Hanlon, A.J. (2016) Ethical challenges facing veterinary professionals in Ireland - results from Policy Delphi with vignette methodology. Veterinary Record. [doi:]
  • Magalhães-Sant’Ana M., Hanlon, A.J. (2016) Straight from the horse’s mouth: Using vignettes to support student learning in veterinary ethics. Journal of Veterinary Medicine Education. [ 10.3138/jvme.0815-137R1]

C‌lick here to read the full report: Current and Future Ethical Challenges Facing the Veterinary Profession in Ireland.