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Review Article

Nig. Vet. J.. 2019; 40(1): 73-85


Emmanuel Okechukwu Njoga, Olusegun Eyitayo Ariyo, John Anaelom Nwanta.


Ethics is a code of conduct governing an individual or group of people. Veterinary ethics is a set of moral principles, drawn from professional and animal ethics, to enable Veterinarians fulfill their professional and moral obligations in their relationships with colleagues, patients, clients and the society at large. The hallmarks of veterinary ethics, as enshrined in the veterinary oath, is protection of animal health, relief of animal suffering, conservation of animal resources and promotion of public health. However, inadequate security in slaughterhouses and excessive quest for quick financial gains among stakeholders in agro-veterinary industry, are some of the major challenges bedeviling full enforcement of ethical standards in veterinary practice in Nigeria. Also, global rise in animal-human relationship/bonding, which may make recommendation of euthanasia in debilitating animals difficult, has emerged as a major ethical challenge to Veterinarians, especially those in pet practice. These challenges underscore the need for review of the existing veterinary code of ethics, to reflect the present-day challenges. Greater partnership between Veterinarians and law enforcement agencies, for provision of adequate security in slaughterhouses nationwide is imperative; to enable veterinarians fulfill their professional obligation of promoting public health through meat inspection. Prompt payment of compensation to owners of condemned carcasses and placement of more emphasis on the need for complete adherence to ethical standard during veterinary training programmes are indispensible to improve ethical standards in veterinary practice in Nigeria.

Key words: Veterinary ethics, veterinary practice, ethical responsibilities, ethical challenges, way-forward, Nigeria, Veterinarian

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