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EPA 11

Perform a welfare assessment of an individual animal or group of animals, and take appropriate action if welfare is found to be compromised


Conduct a clinical examination / inspection of an individual or group of animals, including observation of appearance, behaviour, physiological functions and environment, to assess whether its / their welfare needs are being met.

If animal welfare is found to be compromised, take action, including euthanasia where appropriate.

Assessment of animal welfare is fundamental to veterinary medicine and requires knowledge of animal behaviour and good observational skills. This activity requires assessment against the five freedoms as well as the key welfare indicators above, with appreciation of the legislation governing animal welfare.

Aiming for... (Success criteria)

To have demonstrated effective welfare assessments and provided appropriate advice on improving welfare conditions, for individual animals and groups of animals, including different;

  1. Animal species
  2. Environmental conditions
  3. Clinical presentations
  4. Degrees of animal and / or client support and co-operation

To have recognised where euthanasia is appropriate.

Required competences

There is the potential for all domains within the 2020 RCVS Day One Competences to be relevant to this EPA, however the key areas involved in performance of this area are as follows;

Veterinary capability

  • Clinical reasoning
  • Individual animal
  • Animal population care & management
  • One health / public health

Reflective relationships

  • Communication
  • Collaboration

Personal leadership

  • Adaptability
  • Professionalism