Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Too feral to save?

Hutchison, M. (2016). Comments on the dilemma in the April issue: Too feral to save?. In Practice, 38(5), 254-254.

In the dilemma discussed in the April issue of In Practice, a feral cat had been brought into your practice. It had a simple fracture of the tibia that was eminently fixable, but the cat was feral to the point of being unhandleable. What was the best course of action? (IP, April 2016, vol 38, pp 198-199). David Mills suggested that there were three options: to euthanase; to perform surgical internal stabilisation followed by a rest period, then rehome or release; or to amputate the limb and then rehome or release. None of these options was ideal but a possible solution might be to consider the cat's values. While some suffering in any veterinary intervention was inevitable, this cat's suffering could be prolonged and severe. Consideration of the cat's values and applying ‘critical anthropomorphism’ might help to crystallise thoughts about the animal's welfare and interests. With the potential for severe suffering with no end gain, euthanasia might be the most ethically appropriate option in this case.

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