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Issues for Veterinarians in Recognizing and Reporting Animal Neglect and Abuse

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This article discusses issues relevant to recent efforts to increase veterinary reporting of cases of animal mistreatment in the USA. These issues include mandatory vs. voluntary reporting, client confidentiality obligations, the legal definitions of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect in state laws, ethical conflicts between a veterinarian's obligations to animals and clients, perceived vs. real barriers to reporting, the circumstances under which a veterinarian is likely to encounter animal mistreatment in practice, and the lack of accepted diagnostic criteria for the "battered pet."

Affiliations: 1: TUFTS UNIVERSITY


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