Using animals to benefit animals: how should the UK veterinary profession manage the social and ethical implications of the clinical use of donated companion animal blood and tissue?


  • Dr Vanessa Ashall

    University of Nottingham

Project summary

The use of donated blood and tissue is commonplace in medicine and there is significant debate about the ethics of these practices. Changes in legislation mean that it is becoming more common in the veterinary profession. However, we are yet to see a comparable debate about the ethics of this practice. Issues include the lack of donor consent and whether animal owners understand the costs and benefits of blood and tissue banking. Developments in human medicine and innovation in animal donation are likely to also have an effect. We predict an increase in frequency, complexity and range of species involved in the UK. 

We will examine the ethical basis of such practices and generate novel empirical data on the values and expectations of animal owners, vets and other stakeholders. We will identify ethical similarities and differences between the medical and veterinary fields by reviewing existing literature. 

We aim to produce policy recommendations about regulation of these techniques.