miércoles, 20 de julio de 2011

The family violence saga: from animal to children

 A description of the roots of violence in the civilization and the relationship of human beings and animals, in the context of abuse. The role of the veterinarian in the scope of the veterinary public health and animal welfare duties. Showing how animal abuse is associated with family violence from the more bloody way to the subtler.


Veterinarian’s role.
“Animal Health is an expression of Animal Welfare. The Veterinary Profession is the one providing health to animals. Therefore, is the only authotativilly can speak about Animal Welfare” Apostolos Rantslos. President. World Veterinary Association, Sept. 7, 1998.

We are health care providers, as “health professionals” or “practitioners of the healing arts”, like physicians, nurses and dentistry.

In that scope, we have a mandate to report human, child and animal abuse and neglect[1].

Our responsibility exceeds not only to the animal patient but to society we must answer the question: Is our primary obligation the animal, the owner who paid and brought the animal to our facility, or equally to both?[2]

I guess that our role is of leadership. The danger is to do nothing. We are important tools but misused.  Our intervention, focusing on animal wellfare, must be our priority.

We must clarify and mitigate ethical dilemmas about our responsibility toward animal patients and clients.

Traditionally, our profession focuses their energies toward treating medical conditions on animals.  Now we must protect all the vulnerable beings and promote social skills to those who need us.

 We are obliged to report any animal abuse and take a leadership role in community coalitions against violence.

I guess that in that way, our attitude allows us to be part of the forefront of response of the new social concern about animals, as natural advocates for animals in our society.

[1] Arkow, P. Child abuse, animal abuse and the veterinarian. JAVMA, Vol. 204, No. 7, Apr. 1, 1994. 1004-1007.
[2] Rollin, B. Veterinary and animal ethics. Cited in Arkow, Op. cit.


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