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I WAS glad to see John Bradshaw's letter highlighting the responsibility that veterinary surgeons ought to have to prevent mental suffering in animals and questioning why less than 0.1 per cent of UK practising veterinary surgeons specialise in behaviour (VR, December 5, 2015, vol 177, p 573). In the same issue, Daniel Mills, as reported from a debate at this year's BVA Congress, considers dogs ‘work hard to fit in and please their owners’ but questions whether we as humans ‘keep our side of the bargain’. Similarly, Peter Sandoe suggests that ‘human love does not automatically equate to good welfare for a pet animal’ (VR, December 5, 2015, vol 177, pp 558-559).
An aggressive display by a dog in any context is an external expression of internal mental distress, yet recent correspondence in Veterinary Times illustrates the opposite poles of veterinary …