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Rev Sci Tech. 1997 Dec;16(3):739-45.

Veterinary ethics in the liberalized market: the Zambian environment.

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  • 1School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.


The Zambian veterinary delivery system is responding to changes in the socio-economic environment and in the structural organisation and functions of the delivery system itself. Privatisation and liberalization are now being actively pursued as official Government policy with free competition being encouraged. As a profession, veterinarians must safeguard their interests by, among other actions, self-regulating their activities so as to enhance their standing in society and to develop or maintain standards worthy of the profession. This will be achieved largely through the Veterinary Association of Zambia. It is also imperative for the Government to ensure that governmental policy succeeds by providing an appropriate environment and by protecting the public and animals from undesirable actions by agents of the delivery system (veterinarians and para-professionals). There is also the need to maintain harmony among these agents and to resolve any differences which develop between colleagues and subordinates. Such objectives call for laws and codes of ethics appropriate to the environment of Zambia to be established to guide practitioners, the Veterinary Association, the public and any statutory body which is established to enforce these laws and codes of conduct. The authors explore the meanings of ethics and laws, the principles which will guide stakeholders to develop such ethics and the roles of veterinary associations, statutory bodies, e.g. Veterinary Boards or Councils, veterinary schools and other stakeholders, such as para-professionals, including auxiliaries. The authors also examine the implications of certain rules, such as free competition in service delivery. The establishment of regulations and quality control methods are discussed briefly.

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