Relazione Vancouver


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La relazione presentata da Pasqualino Santori al congresso Mondiale di Etica Veterinaria a Vancouver

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Relazione Vancouver

  1. 1. Veterinary Medicine and ethical (global) choices for the future Dr Pasqualino Santori President of the Veterinary Bioethics Committee, Rome, Italy; former member of National Bioethics Committee, Italy; DVM; Master in Behavior Therapy John Betti Historical various tasks of vets Since the beginning veterinary science’s purposes have been to treat animals to save their lives when they are in bad conditions and also to check them to determine the ‘perfect condition’ of health before the slaughtering. This is the general social demand from veterinary science. An ethical problem In the last decades it has been attributed a major moral value to the animals. This fact brought changes into Western Countries’ legislation. Animals are not considered just things by ordinary people, an intrinsic value is given to them. But there isn’t a simple justification of zoological nature to distinguish between animals good to eat and animals good for company ( like between cattle and dogs), moreover this vision can take away any intrinsic value to the animals giving value only to the use of them as food or pet; A generalized vegan choices can bring to the extinction of several in the same way when Catilina made his horse senator. domestic species because of the lack of demand. It could create Besides, different cultures that now coexist eat what other people take care of. an animalism without animals. The problem is increasing: people usually don’t practice what they preach. For livestock, on one hand there is the welfare interest and on the other hand an increasing pressure of the markets, which brings to the industrialization of farms with the consequential lost of the individual care. For pets we can see a more commercial behavior, rich of contradictions such as: wild animals as pets, suffering dog breeds, animals as consuming goods rather than living beings. Consumers wants to Some people keep Many people pay less for animals wild animals don’t acknowledge products without (not domesticated) that some realizing the as pets justifying breeds of dog that consequences of this with ‘love for appear to be animals living nature and animals’. funny or particularly conditions. cute are affected by genetic malformations. Animal breeding is accused of pollution, in particular in the global warming, and for the consumption of human edible Pets are recognized members of human food (according to the modern system of families. Pet therapy is considered with great breeding) interest. Veterinary profession, its duties, and the unity in the diversity Veterinary science cannot have, even if it could, the same superficial attitude as the rest of humanity for ethical and practical reasons. Veterinary science needs to go beyond the people’s perspective in order to fulfill its purposes. In programming investments it must be able to foresee the developments in reasonable time, for both the advantage and the social acceptance of the profession. Moreover, the improvement of the distinction between animals good to eat from animals good for company represent a problem to maintain a unity in the diversity of the profession. Now more than ever, vets have a historic function in consideration of the social and technological development that humanity had had with the domestication of animals and plants (Neolithic permitted the rise of social organization and alimentary crisis we must remember this). The mixture of ethical and scientific problems and the needs to find solutions, at least transitory, needs to find a form of governance like permitted by bioethics. Bioethics Bioethics gives a model of Governance: Applied ethics not theoretic The formation of the bioethics committees for their multidisciplinary Multidisciplinary and pluralism of values with the finality of an applied ethics faces Exchange of experiences and views daily problems that give inputs for political choices Pluralism of values Veterinary Bioethics Committee – Rome, Italy The Veterinary Bioethics Committee was founded in 1997. This initiative was taken as a response to the need, widely felt inside the veterinary profession, to constitute a suitable forum for a diversified and multidisciplinary discussion on the themes concerning human relationship with animals. One of the main functions of the Committee is to debate, within a broader context, the problems that veterinary surgeons often have to face alone, and to compare professional experience with other social actors, who may be equally involved in the same problems, but are characterized by a different professional experiences and a different operational context. The Committee sees itself as an observatory and a laboratory of study, with the main objective to sensitize civil society to the ethical problems stemming from the way in which we relate ourselves to the animal world. Pluralism of expertise is meant to correspond to a real pluralism of values: in the committee there are widely different, even antithetic moral positions concerning human relationship with animals. The Committee modus operandi has been eminently practical, giving consideration to specific problematic cases, from an ethical point of view, with the purpose of providing tools for the sensitization of the civil society and showing possible ways for the elimination or the reduction of conflicts. The Committee thought that the most suitable approach was not to put the emphasis on theoretical issues but rather to debate practical issues and to allow the theoretical aspects to come thus to surface. A different choice could have paralyzed the work in a potentially sterile discussion, certainly interesting but not profitable for the purpose of producing practical indications. Personal convictions and theoretical principles are on purpose given a back seat so as to make possible the dialogue between different positions, to stimulate attention to different points of view and to identify possible consensus among people with very different ethical paradigms. Composition Working methods Publications •Agreement of the problem relevance by C.G. Edizioni Medico Scientifiche, Torino: Veterinarians Philosophers •Plenary meetings 1. Protection of animals during transport,1999,p.110 Jurists •Experts interviews 2. Procedures for informed and responsible clinical Economists •Commissions work decision: observations on the so called informed Ethologists •Involvement of temporary members consent in Veterinary, 2000. p.74 Farmers/Breeders •“Brainstorming!” 3. Killing of animals. Euthanasia. Topics for a moral Animal rights activists •Focusing on critical points analysis, 2001.p.166 4. Killing of animals for food supplies: Consumer association members •Definition of temporary common grounds slaughtering, 2003, p.122 Anthropologists •Elaboration a document which is 5. The bioethical problem of dangerous dogs: Psychologists approved by the plenary analysis of human and animal interests, 2006, p.154 Pedagogues •Expression of minority or personal opinions National Bioethics Committee of the Italian Government: Among the other issues, the CNB was interested also in animals’ issues such as: Animal experimentation and the health of living beings (1997); Bioethics and Veterinary Science. Animal welfare and humane health (2001) Ritual slaughtering and animal suffering (2003); Bioethical problems in relation with pet therapy (2005); Cutting of tail and hears (2006)