Eddie Clutton on the topic of overtreatment


We've been speaking to Eddie Clutton, who is speaking in our Innovation and Overtreatment session at this year's Discussion Forum.

Eddie Clutton is an expert in the field of veterinary anaesthesia and will be debating the motion “Uncontrolled treatment innovations are detrimental to welfare” with Karen Humm.

Eddie sees overtreatment as a huge problem, which is undermining the veterinary profession's commitment to Animal Welfare in the UK.  We asked him a few questions in advance of this year’s debate:

What is your experience of overtreatment?

Having worked in small and large animal teaching hospitals on both sides of the Atlantic I cannot fail to see that many so-called developments in veterinary medicine and surgery have little to do with animal welfare and in many cases undermine it.  Working in a laboratory where all activities are governed by ethical review processes and the law only aggravates my sense of disconnect with many veterinary 'specialists'.

What is the nature of the issue?

The humanisation of companion animals, veterinary specialisation and education, the media and the financing of questionable interventions by the pet insurance industry.

Is enough progress being made?

Unfortunately, despite representations to the RCVS, the situation appears to have gained its own momentum and continues to gather pace unchecked.  To tackle this issue, it will become necessary for the RCVS to gain control over the determination of “advances” in veterinary medicine and surgery.


The 2021 Virtual Discussion Forum will take place on September 15th.  Find out more about this and other sessions: http://www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk/discussion-forum-2021/