The Veterinary Profession's added value in human-animal interaction

Date: 13th June 2018

Time: 3:30-5:30 pm

Venue: Banquet Hall (Festsaal), University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna


Franck L.B. Meijboom (Utrecht University)

Herwig Grimm (Messerli Research Institute, Vienna)

Corresponding Organizer:

Franck L.B. Meijboom (F.L.B.Meijboom(at)

Context and Aims:

Veterinary professionals are confronted with a number of (new) developments. These include the changes in the scope of veterinary care, e.g. from curative to preventive medicine, from care for individual animals to veterinary care for collectives, but also the development towards One Health and One Welfare.

This process also has an effect on veterinary ethics. Ethical questions are no longer restricted to moral problems at the level of individual clinical cases, but include complex issues that require new types of ethical reflection, discussion on professional responsibility and reflections on the public position of the veterinary profession. Furthermore, it raises questions about the professional role of veterinarians in the debate on sustainable human-animal interactions, including animal use and animal production.

In this special session we aim to discuss this development and present some of its examples in Europe (e.g., UK and The Netherlands). 


Welcome (5min): Franck Meijboom

Introduction (5min): Herwig Grimm

Veterinarians’ statements on their added value in practice

Input statement I (10min): animal production (Gerard van Eijden, DVM | Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht)

Input statement II (10min): human-animal companionship (Univ.-Prof. Dr. Florien Jenner, Head of the Equine Hospital, Vetmeduni, Vienna)


  • Societal roles and responsibilities in human-animal interaction
  • Veterinary profession’s added value in the future
  • Implications on training future vets

End of workshop

Key Questions:

  • What are the effects of recent animal related debates in Europe (e.g. public debates on animal welfare, One Health, sustainability) on veterinary ethics? 
  • What are the examples of how veterinarians/ veterinary professions address new challenges.
  • What should be the role of the veterinary profession in public debates on issues such as animal welfare, One Health, sustainability?

Key Words:

Vethics, Professional Ethics, Professional Integrity, Animal Welfare

Target Group:

The aim is to bring veterinary professionals and ethicists together in order to improve the ethical debate in the profession and the professional contribution to the public debate.