Animals & end-of-life

In all kinds of situations, we as humans are confronted with questions and decisions regarding the end-of-live of animals. A topic that propels questions and emotions, which makes an open communication and dialogue even more crucial.

End-of-life decision making is complex and comes with ethical challenges: various values and interests might conflict with one another. Moreover, end-of-life decision making occurs in a multitude of situations. For example, are we dealing with a 'domesticated' or a 'wild' animal? CenSAS is taking initiative to explore, research and question these deliberations and ethical challenges within research projects, education and dialogues.

The role of the veterinarian as a professional

The veterinarian plays an important role in guiding owners in end-of-live decision making of their animal. CenSAS PhD candidate Ellen Deelen looks into this particular role of the veterinarian's when it comes to the consideration process of euthanasia. Over the past years, she conducted interviews with veterinarians in the field.

Through her research, she provides insight into the veterinary practical, societal, and ethical considerations involved. This research aims to contribute to a responsible decision-making process regarding euthanasia and to adequately prepare veterinary students through education. By engaging in conversations with a wide range of stakeholders, this project also enhances a societal dialogue concerning animal (end-of-live) care.

Prevention and Alternatives

There is a growing societal attention for the welfare of animals. For example, there is a growing emphasis on alternatives for laboratory animals. Yet, for considered 'pest' animals like rats and mice, their welfare seem to disappear of the public debate. Since 2017, CenSAS PhD candidate Maite van Gerwen has been working together with various stakeholders on responsible ('pest') management of rats and mice. By focusing on awareness and prevention, the project aims to reduce the perceived nuisance caused by rats and mice and thereby decrease the killing of animals.

Decision tools 

From 2017 onwards, CenSAS has been collaborating with stakeholders to develop on farm euthanasia decision tools. The aim of these tools is to provide (future) professional livestock farmers guidance in making well-considered decisions while taking care of animals in need.