Veterinary oaths are public declarations sworn by veterinarians, usually when they enter the profession. As such, they may reflect professional and social concerns. Analysis of contemporary veterinary oaths may therefore reveal their ethical foundations. The objective of this article is to contextualize the ethical content of contemporary oaths, in terms of the origin and development of veterinary medicine and wider societal changes such as the intensification of farming and the rise of animal welfare. This informs a comparison of oaths from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. This analysis suggests some ways in which the oaths might be developed to better reflect contemporary societal values.

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