ALBERTA ANIMAL WELFARE CONFERENCE Dr. Duane Landals

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1 ALBERTA ANIMAL WELFARE CONFERENCE Dr. Duane Landals Senior Advisor, ABVMA Vice President, World Veterinary Association Follow us:

2 ALBERTA ANIMAL WELFARE CONFERENCE The Cost of Compassion: Euthanasia and End of Life Decisions Follow us:

3

4 WHY BALANCE? To keep us from falling down!

5 COMPASSION Wikipedia The emotion we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.

6 ANIMAL WELFARE GOALS A LIFE WORTH LIVING

7 ANIMAL WELFARE GOALS A GOOD DEATH

8 UNDERSTANDING ANIMAL WELFARE Dr. David Frazer Affective state: pleasure, pain, happiness Natural state: natural environment, behavior, nature of animal Functional state: health, freedom from disease, nutrition

9 UNDERSTANDING ANIMAL WELFARE Affective Functional Natural

10 UNDERSTANDING ANIMAL WELFARE Affective Functional Natural

11 MAKING ETHICAL DECISIONS Dr. Bernard Rollin -for a decision (by a veterinarian) to be ethical it must be demonstrated to be appropriate and beneficial to: The animal The owner of the animal Society The veterinarian (or decision maker) The veterinary profession generally (or the affected interest group)

12 MAKING ETHICAL DECISIONS Emotion Economics Science Cultural values

13 LACK OF BALANCE WE ALL FALL DOWN.

14 COMPASSION FATIGUE A CAREGIVER S REDUCED ABILITY OR INTEREST IN BEING EMPHATETIC OR BEING UNABLE TO BEAR THE SUFFERING OF HIS OR HER CLIENTS. (PATIENTS OR ANIMALS UNDER THEIR CARE)

15 COMPASSION FATIGUE Information from the United Kingdom: Suicide among veterinarians: 3 times the rate of the general population 2.25 times the rate of medical practitioners 1.9 times dental practitioners

16 COMPASSION FATIGUE Alberta Survey, Dr. Jean Wallace, U of C Significant % of veterinarians and technologists have had some thoughts of suicide within the past 12 months Burnout or work related stress is reported at an even higher level

17 COMPASSION FATIGUE Contributing Factors: Unrealistic client expectations-22% Conflict between client-animal interests-20% Financial obligations 28% Animal suffering-19% Emotional attachment to animals-50% Euthanasia of animals-75% (reported as often or most of the time)

18 COMPASSION FATIGUE Tails of Help (Alberta Pet Essential Treatment Foundation) Survey Results: Veterinary care rivalling human medicine has resulted in 100% in cost of veterinary care over 25 years 30% of pet owners were unable to afford the costs associated with pet care Estimated annual cost to provide essential pet treatment for clients in need in Alberta-$53,000,000

19 COMPASSION FATIGUE Outcomes of Inability to Pay Euthanasia-35% Co-pay financial plan-27% Pro-bono treatment-13% No treatment -12% Surrender to humane society-8% Surrender to veterinary clinic-5%

20 COMPASSION FATIGUE Regularity of provision of pro-bono treatment by clinics on a monthly or weekly basis 78% Regularity of identifying clients requiring financial support for essential pet treatment on a monthly or weekly basis-71%

21 COMPASSION FATIGUE Is a result of loss of balance and a need to make decisions Between understanding of welfare needs of animal Between economic and emotional considerations Between ethical needs

22 COMPASSION FATIGUE Need for balance: A life worth living and a good death

23 END OF LIFE DECISIONS a good death is translation of Greek word Euthanasia

24 END OF LIFE DECISIONS Euthanasia Deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life

25 END OF LIFE DECISIONS Euthanasia Never an easy decision and is the cause of significant stress for everyone connected with the animal, owner, care giver, veterinary professional

26 END OF LIFE DECISIONS Euthanasia Justifications End animal suffering Address welfare issues Protect society Protect other animals Economic

27 END OF LIFE DECISIONS The Time is Right For whom? The animal The owner or care giver The person charged with the task of euthanasia

28 END OF LIFE DECISIONS The Time is Never Right But need to consider the consequences of not making the appropriate decision in a timely manner Need to balance all of the influencing factors

29 END OF LIFE DECISIONS

30 END OF LIFE DECISIONS

31 A life worth living A good death Maintaining the balance is the responsibility of us all

32 SUMMARY? Every animal deserves a life worth living If a life worth living is not possible, than a good death may be preferable We all have different views on reaching ideal animal welfare Making the right decisions is difficult and stressful Money is always a challenge

33 Thank you for your attention and consideration of this difficult topic

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