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  • Animal Law in Practice - the things you MUST know
    Your role, your risk, your legal liability


    "One of the best courses I've done in 15 years of animal health work." Gill McGregor (Enforcement Manager)

    This is the first in a series of VetScholar modules on animals and the law adapted for veterinarians, animal welfare inspectors and other professionals with an interest in, or responsibility for, animals.

    Animal law is one of the fastest growing legal disciplines throughout the world. Lawyers, veterinarians, scientists and a multitude of professionals from other disciplines increasingly need to know how the law applies to animals in everything from international trade, agriculture and food safety, to domestic issues including farm (mis)management, transport and slaughter codes, pet care and every-day veterinary practice.

    If you are a veterinarian in practice, how do you deal with conflicts between your duty of care for an animal’s welfare and your client’s confidentiality or your own business interests? What should you do with cases of obvious or suspected animal abuse that may also be linked to suspected human abuse? And what are your legal obligations and liabilities in each of these situations?

    If you have a role in animal welfare or enforcement, this module will provide a valuable foundation to help you better understand and assess lawful versus unlawful treatment of animals, and confidently interact with animal owners and other professionals with responsibilities or obligations for the welfare of animals.

    By the end of this module you will understand the foundational concepts of animal law which are vital to understanding principles of animal welfare, obligations under the law, and how to best deal with welfare issues and associated legal risks. This is relevant to every professional working with animals in agriculture, food safety, urban environments, clinical practice, teaching and research and elsewhere.

    About the tutor

    Ian is an experienced teacher who is not only a lawyer specialising in animal law but also a veterinarian with substantial clinical and business experience. This course provides practical and realistic coverage of what you as a professional need to know about animals and the law, ensuring you are informed for your own confidence and wellbeing, being credible to your clients, and are better able to manage situations and risk in practice relating to animal welfare and the law.

    Feedback from previous students who have completed courses on 'animals and the law'  taught by Ian: 
    "I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the course, and how much I have learned.  The course was such a good introduction into areas that can have such a big effect in my field − a light has been turned on. Thanks!" Alison Ineson (veterinarian)

    "I was concerned this course would simply recite the Animal Welfare Act but this was not the case! The course was excellent. It  explained the law very well and the information learnt was put in to practice immediately." Jane Taylor (Animal Health Officer)

    "An obvious professional in the field of animal law. The course was made even more interesting and relevant by his experience and insights from both  veterinary medicine and law. Excellent." Phil Sidey (Lawyer)

    Topic One
    Understand why the law deals with animals as it does, and the origins of legal attitudes regarding animals. Learn about the concept of ‘property’ and why animals are ‘special’, and distinguish between animal rights and animal welfare. This helps explain much of the law we have today regarding our interactions and obligations regarding animals, and provides the “oh that’s why” factor for understanding why humans can legally use animals as they do.

    Topic Two
    With an understanding of the principles underpinning the law (Topic One), we now assess how these are reflected in legislation. You’ll learn how the law defines “duty of care” in respect of animals, who is subject to it, when it applies, and how the law determines whether someone has complied with their duty, or failed in it. These are crucial understandings that will give you confidence managing both your professional duties and your personal and/or business risks. This Topic provides you with the basic legislative game rules.

    Topic Three
    Here we apply what you’ve learnt in the first two topics to a series of ‘real life’ situations where ethical, professional, economic and social opinions and conflicts arise! Having learnt about animal welfare, can you recognise good/lawful animal welfare? And where does it cross the line to unlawful animal welfare and/or abuse? What forms the basis for acceptance of various animal uses and husbandry practices versus consideration for prosecution? And what are your obligations (and associated risks) in those situations? This section is the applied or “practical” part of animal welfare.

  • This course will help you develop in-depth and practical understanding of three essential skills at which veterinary nurses can excel and apply daily in practice. Learn how to master the art of fluid therapy through sound understanding of the principles and applications in practice, improving patient outcomes and relieving stress! Likewise, develop your understanding, skill and confidence with wound management and bandaging, learning simple practical approaches used by specialists. Taught by an experienced veterinary nurse with a specialist practice background and supported by specialist veterinarians, this course provides value for nurses at all levels of experience and teaches skills you can immediately put into practice to improve efficiency, confidence and patient outcomes. Whether you’re just learning or keen to take your practice to the next level, this course is for you.

  • This course will help you develop in-depth and practical understanding of three essential skills at which veterinary nurses can excel and apply daily in practice. Learn how to master the art of fluid therapy through sound understanding of the principles and applications in practice, improving patient outcomes and relieving stress! Likewise, develop your understanding, skill and confidence with wound management and bandaging, learning simple practical approaches used by specialists. Taught by an experienced veterinary nurse with a specialist practice background and supported by specialist veterinarians, this course provides value for nurses at all levels of experience and teaches skills you can immediately put into practice to improve efficiency, confidence and patient outcomes. Whether you’re just learning or keen to take your practice to the next level, this course is for you.

  • Alex, Richard, and Mike are here to offer another buffet of small animal surgery topics.The second module will cover three common neurosurgical conditions. While you may not launch into spinal surgery the idea is to get you recognising these cases and to enable you to be able to provide the patients and their owners with appropriate and prompt treatment and advice. We hope to see you online soon!

  • Module 1: Optimising Dairy Cow Fertility After Calving
    Module 2: Bulls - The Forgotten Half Of Dairy Herd Breeding

  • Module 1: Animal Welfare And The Law 
    Module 2: Animal Welfare In Agriculture
    Module 3: Animal Welfare And "Client Confidentiality"

  • Mastering The Art And Science Of Companion Animal Dentistry

  • Module 1: Orthopaedic Surgery: Fractures Of The Hind Limb
    Module 2: Surgery Of The Respiratory Tract: Where And Why

  • Module 1: Kidney Disease, Addison's, Critical-Care Nutrition 
    Module 2: Diarrhoea, Immune-Mediated Disease & Literature

  • Would you like to increase the number of clients coming into your practice and the number of these clients that view your veterinarians and practice as the preferred supplier for all animal advice, treatment and products? Learn how to develop marketing and sustainable business growth strategies and practices specifically targeted to veterinary business.


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VetScholar is an innovative online learning programme for veterinarians and veterinary technicalness which has received outstanding reviews from participants.

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