Department: Production and Population Health

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Centres: RVC Animal Welfare Science and Ethics

Martin is the Lecturer in Veterinary Ethics and Law at the RVC and his PhD in the concept of public interest within the veterinary profession is nearing completion.  He is interested in the ways in which vets and veterinary nurses behave in practice, including the regulatory mechanisms, and the public interest empowerment of the profession.  He teaches veterinary students, nurses and post-graduates in veterinary ethics and law.

Martin is a Visiting Fellow at Lincoln University, a member of the RCVS Disciplinary Committee and a member of the All Party Parlimentary Group for Animal Welfare.


Martin qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the RVC in 2006. He had previously intercalated in Philosophy and Ethics at King's College London in 2003. He also has a Masters in Medical Ethics and Law from King's College London.  His PhD was on the social contract empowerment of the veterinary profession and an understanding of the public interest question relating to veterinary services.

Following an internship at Dick White Referrals and time working as a locum in a variety in small animal practices, Martin returned to the RVC to develop teaching materials for the undergraduate students, to develop alumni relations and to assist in the development of the RVC’s clinical records system (CRIS). Martin also undertook a significant research project on the welfare of companion dogs.

In 2009, Martin developed a new curriculum to teach ethics to the veterinary undergraduates, increasing their previous instruction by 27 hours. Whilst leading ethics teaching on this programme Martin has continued to develop the course for delivery to nurses and MVetMed students.  His long term plan is to develop a strong academic discipline in veterinary ethics and law.  He is also promotes his work through the VetEthics twitter account @VetEthics and his own @mwhiting81 .

Martin defines veterinary ethics as combining veterinary professional and animal ethics and can be interpreted as a critical reflection on the provision of veterinary services in support of the profession's responsibilities to animal kind and mankind.  

Martin is also a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and a member of the Research Ethics Committees at the Royal Veterinary College and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Martin's primary research interests are in veterinary ethics and veterinary law.  Specifically looking at the social contract between the veterinary monopoly power and its relationship with the empowering public.

He is also supervising an MRes project on veterinary patient safety, and an MRes on the role of the veterinary profession in detection of the Dual-Use Research Dilemma.

Martin's previous project was concerned with canine welfare in Britain, specifically that of companion dogs. He completed a comprehensive information review highlighting the major factors that affect the welfare of companion dogs in Britain today.

  • Whiting, M. Could preventing non-stun slaughter in Britain harm animal welfare? 2016 Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association Journal. In Press.
  • Chan, E., Whiting, M. (2016) Teaching Professionalism: Using Role-play simulations to generate professionalism learning outcomes. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 
  • Holloway, P., Musallam, I., Whiting, M., Good, L., Van Winden, S., Silva-Fletcher, A., Ababneh, M., Abu-Basha, E., Guitian, J. (2015) Building Capacity for Biological Threat Reduction in the Middle East. Veterinary Record. 177(13) 337-338.
  • Whiting, M., Kinnison, T., Mossop, L. (2016) Teaching Tip: developing an intercollegiate Twitter forum to aid student exam study and the development of digital professionalism. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 43(3)
  • Webb, J., Welsh, P., Whiting, M. (2013) A case based approach to professional, legal and ethical issues for veterinary nurses: Phone consent. The Veterinary Nurse. 4(6) 358-362
  • Lee, J., Welsh, P., Whiting, M. (2013) A case based approach to professional, legal and ethical issues for veterinary nurses: Surgical misadventure. The Veterinary Nurse. 4(8) 504-507
  • Whiting, M. (2013) Vaccinations and the Animal Welfare Act. In Practice 35:102-103.
  • Buckland, E.L., Whiting, M. C., Abeyesinghe, S. M., Asher, L., Corr, S., Wathes, C. M. (In Press 2012) A survey of stakeholders' opinions on the priority issues affecting the welfare of companion dogs in Great Britain. Animal Welfare (In Press)
  • Whiting M,. (2012) Legal and ethical considerations when undertaking veterinary nurse research.  The Veterinary Nurse 3(7): p394-400.
  • de Miguel Garcia C., Whiting M., Alibhai, H. (2012) Cerebral hypoxia in a cat following pharyngoscopy involving use of a mouth gag.  Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. 40:1 p106-8.  doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2995.2012.00771.x.
  • Whiting M. (2012) Everyday Ethics: homeopathic vaccine.  In Practice. 34(7): 430-431
  • Asher L., Buckland E.L., Phylactopoulos C.I., Whiting M.C., Abeyesinghe S.M. and Wathes C.M. (2011) Estimation of the number and demographics of companion dogs in the UK.  BMC Veterinary Research 7:74

Books, Reviews and Book Chapters

  • Treanor, L., Whiting, M., 2013.  Veterinary Business Management: an ethical approach to managing people and practices.  In (Ed) Henry, C., Veterinary Business and Enterprise: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Case.  Elsevier.
  • Smith, R., and Whiting, M., 2013.  Documenting and Investigating the Entrepreneurial Trade in Illegal Veterinary Medicines in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  In (Ed) Henry, C., Veterinary Business and Enterprise: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Case.  Elsevier.
  • Book Review: Can Animals be Moral? Rowlands, M. OUP, 2012.  In: Whiting, M 2013. Animal Welfare 22:4 pp496-497.
  • Veterinary and Animal Ethics (2012). Eds. Wathes CM, Corr SA, May SA, McCulloch SP, Whiting M. London: Wiley-Blackwell.  Available.
  • Whiting M (2012) Justice of Animal Use in the Veterinary Profession. In Veterinary and Animal Ethics. Eds. Wathes CM, Corr SA, May SA, McCulloch SP, Whiting M. London: Wiley-Blackwell


Conference Presentations, Posters, Newsletters and Letters

  • CABI Faculty Article. 2016. European Veterinary Codes of Professional Conduct, why do they differ? Available here.
  • Taylor-Brown, F., Kenny, P.J., Whiting, M. (2016) Letter: Microchipping very small dogs. Veterinary Record 179(6):151
  • Whiting, M, Fitzpatrick, N. (2016) Noel Fitzpatrick in conversation with Martin Whiting.  SPVS-VPMA Congress, January. Celtic Manor, Wales.
  • Beauvais, W., Whiting, M., Limon-Vega, G., Guitian, J. Ethical issues to consider when planning veterinary epidemiological studies. European College of Veterinary Public Health Annual Conference, Belgrade, Serbia 7th-9th October 2015.
  • Kinnison, T, Mossop, L & Whiting, M. “Really useful thank you! #Vetfinals”: an evaluation of Twitter revision sessions. VetEd Symposium, Cambridge 9th-10th July 2015
  • Whiting, M, Kinnison, T & Mossop, L. #Vetfinals – an inter-collegiate veterinary Twitter forum for teaching, revision and lifelong peer communications. VetEd Symposium, Cambridge 9th-10th July 2015
  • Holloway, P, Mussalam, I, Whiting, M, Abu-Basha, E & Guitian, J. (2015) Building Capacity for Biological Threat Reduction in the Middle East: RVC & JUST An OIE Educational Twinning Initiative. Global Conference on Biological Threat Reduction. Paris, France, 30th June 2015. (Award second prize for posters by the OIE)
  • Whiting, M (2015) Could banning non-stun slaughter be detrimental to animal welfare in the UK? AWSEVLA Conference, Bristol 30th September 2015
  • Whiting, M (2015) Workshop: What constitutes an effective treatment in EBVM? AWSEVLA Conference, Bristol 1st October 2015
  • Whiting, M & Chan, E. Workshop: Show me the professionalism! Using written and role- play assessments to drive development of professionalism. VetEd Symposium, Cambridge 9th-10th July 2015
  • Whiting, M (2014) "Pet's as participants in research projects." Australian Veterinary Association Conference, Perth Australia, May
  • Whiting, M (2014) "Teaching veterinary ethics and law." Australian Veterinary Association Conference, Perth Australia, May
  • Whiting, M (2014) "What is informed consent?" Australian Veterinary Association Conference, Perth Australia, May
  • Whiting, M (2014) "Businesses and my clinical freedom." Australian Veterinary Association Conference, Perth Australia, May
  • Whiting, M (2014) "Clinical audit and governance." Australian Veterinary Association Conference, Perth Australia, May
  • Whiting, M (2014) "The conflict between ethical and economic veterinary conduct." Australian Veterinary Association Conference, Perth Australia, May
  • Whiting, M (2013) "Challenges in Teaching Professional Studies." LIVE Newsletter. March p13-17. Available online:
  • Whiting, M (2013) "New Veterinary institutions, a discussion of the implications." AVS Conference, RVC London February.
  • Whiting M. (2012) "What should the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons viewpoint be on Religious slaughter?" Association of Veterinary Students, London.
  • Whiting M. (2011) "The justice of animal use." International Conference of Veterinary and Animal Ethics. London.
  • Whiting M. (2011) "The Justice of the Sociozoological scale."  Mancept Political Theory Workshop, University of Manchester.
  • May S. & Whiting M. (2010) "Workshop: Professionalism and Ethics Skills." LIVE Educational Symposium 2010, London.
  • Whiting, M. (2010) “If we are not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?” – EcoHealth Initiative. London International Development Centre, June 2010
  • Whiting M. (2009) "A pig is a dog is a rat is a boy."  BVNA Congress. Kettering, October 9-11.
  • Whiting, M. (2009) “Pushing the Frontiers of Medicine – an Ethical Perspective” BVNA Congress. Kettering, October 9-11.
  • Wright A.J., Whiting M. and Taylor A. (2009) Letter to the Editor on the surgical castration of pigletsAnimal 3, 1474–1475.
  • Foale R. D., Whiting M. & Wray J. D. (2006) Myositis and pharyngeal dysphagia in Hungarian vizslas. Proceedings of the 50th BSAVA Congress. Birmingham, April 3 to 6, 2008. Clinical research abstract.

Martin is responsible for teaching:

  • Ethics and law to the BVetMed students ethics in their first, third and fourth years
  • Ethics, law, professionalism and animal welfare the PGDip Nurses.
  • Ethics, law and professionalism to the FdSc and BSc veterinary nurses
  • Ethics and research law to the various Masters programs at the RVC
  • Professional and animal ethics to the MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour at Lincoln University.
  • Module leader for Professional Studies PG Dip Nurses
  • Module Leader for Animals and Society - BSc
  • Deputy Module Leader for BSc Year 2 Ethics and Welfare
  • Deputy Module Leader for Welfare Physiology - BSc
  • Deputy Module Leader for Cert AVP C-VPH 

Martin is also on the University of London exam board for the distance learning masters courses running at the RVC.

Martin holds a Diploma from the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine in the sub-speciality of Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law.

Martin visits secondary schools in and around London to talk about the Ethics of Animal Use within science and by the wider population.  This is done by placing it in context of all forms of animal use including pets and farm animals to help the students understand the greater issues.


  • Veterinary Ethics and Law

    People: Martin Whiting

    There are multiple projects currently running on veterinary ethics and law.  These include topics of client informed consent, the law and professional conduct related to clinical research, reviews of RCVS Disciplinary Hearings, ethical requirements for publications, the laws of religious slaughter and the social contractual empowerment of the veterinary profession.

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