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Comments on the dilemma in the October issue: ‘Euthanasia in a no-kill shelter’
  1. Yvonne Black
  1. Market Rasen, UK


The dilemma in the October issue concerned a local shelter's changing policy on euthanasia. It had previously promoted itself as a no-kill organisation, a policy for which it received significant public support and funding. However, its board of trustees had recently begun pressing for healthy animals to be put down because of a lack of capacity (In Practice, October 2014, vol 36, pp 478-479). Vanessa Ashall advised that, while it wouldn't be unethical for the board to formally review the shelter's stance on euthanasia, it would be unacceptable for the institution to surreptitiously shift its practices, as this would end up deceiving the public. She suggested that the vet involved should ask the trustees to clarify the principles underpinning the non-destruction policy and how those relate to the shelter's new circumstances.

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