Siobhan Mullan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial (Academic Journal)


THE dilemma in the last issue concerned a vet who was called to give a competition horse its annual flu vaccination (in Practice, June 2009, volume 31, page 302). It was the final day under British Horse Society rules that the vaccination could be carried out before the horse was required to restart the course. However, the horse became extremely stressed and the vet was not able to inject it. The owner insisted that the horse was vaccinated that day by any means necessary, and the vet felt uneasy at the prospect of using a twitch. Tania Dennison commented that one useful framework was to consider the effect of any actions on each stakeholder in terms of the three principles of common morality: wellbeing, autonomy and justice. A possible way forward would be for the vet to discuss his or her concerns regarding the animal's welfare and to talk about possible options, including allowing the horse time to calm down with the aim of gaining its trust and trying to attempt the vaccination once more. Another member of the practice might also be able to come out and help. The twitch might then be used if neither option was appropriate; however, a plan should be devised to help the horse overcome its fear of vaccinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-360
Number of pages1
JournalIn Practice
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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