• 19 July 2017

End of Life Session Scheduled for BEVA Congress

Quality of life and end of life should go hand in hand yet a balanced assessment and a final decision can be subjective and highly emotive, making a vet’s job even more challenging.


BEVA Congress 13-16 September 2017 will be devoting an afternoon of discussion to this sensitive topic on Friday 15 September, at Liverpool Arena Convention Centre.

Making the decision to end the life of a horse is probably the most difficult aspect of owning or caring for one and the process is undoubtedly hard for the attending vet. Nicky Jarvis, Head Vet at Redwings Horse Sanctuary will be moderating the End Of Life session at Congress, which aims to explore the major aspects of euthanasia and the implications on owners, vets and insurance.

Georgina Crossman, who coordinated Advancing Equine Scientific Excellence’s (AESE) collaborative project considering equine end of life and euthanasia, will commence with a look at Owners’ attitudes to euthanasia. Lesley Barwise-Munro of Alnorthumbria Vets who is also an FEI veterinary official, a senior racecourse vet and honorary vice president of the National Equine Welfare Council, will follow with the Practicalities of euthanasisa – how to do it well and pitfalls to avoid.

Monica Aleman Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, California will share her knowledge on Electrophysical studies of euthanasia. Karen Cook Teaching Fellow at the University of Surrey within the School of Health Sciences and a registered adult nurse, with a career dominated by Palliative and End of Life Care, will then draw any relevant comparisons with End of Life Care in People.

Andrew Harrison partner at Three Counties Equine Hospital will close the session with a pertinent look at BEVA Guidelines and insurance implications of euthanasia.

Mark Bowen, Senior Vice President of BEVA said: “As vets we must balance the privilege and responsibility that comes from access to euthanasia when maintaining animal welfare. Decisions are currently based upon personal views and experience as well as an awareness of our clients’ emotional needs and a considerable amount of anthropomorphism when deciding on 'the right time'. In the absence of an evidence-based method for assessing quality of life, this session will review what we do know and how to make this final act as stress free as possible for all involved.” 


Organised by horse vets for horse vets BEVA Congress Europe’s largest equine veterinary conference. This year it will be held at Liverpool Arena Convention Centre from 13-16 September 2017. There will be an exceptional line up of practitioner friendly ‘big cheese’ speakers, extensive CPD, quality science and novel demonstrations. Anyone who registers before 3rd August will receive significantly reduced booking fees. Visit www.beva.org.uk today to find out more and to sign up.