“Veterinarians are, and must continually strive to be, the leading advocates for the good welfare of animals in a continually evolving society.” (FVE/AVMA 2011).
Welfare science is a dynamic and multi-disciplinary subject; including the study of the mental and physical health of animals, as well as its ethical implications in relation to humans, the environment and regulation. The FVE strategy for 2011-2015 states that veterinarians have a professional and ethical responsibility to use their scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of animal welfare. All veterinarians should be able to educate, inform and influence animal owners, caretakers, handlers and policy makers to protect and improve animal welfare. Welfare (and its associated research) is, therefore, seen as an important aim in veterinary education along with other key subjects such as animal health and public health. The veterinary profession will also be needed to monitor and help implement good welfare for national governments which will create future employment needs for the profession.