A conflict of interest, as it pertains to veterinary medicine, is a situation in which the veterinarian has competing professional or personal interests. Such competing interests can make it difficult for the veterinarian to fulfill his or her duties impartially. A conflict of interest can exist even if no unethical or improper act results from it; however, it can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidence in the person or profession.

The AAEP suggests the following guidelines for its members:

1. A veterinarian should strongly consider whether or not to render services to a client if in doing so the veterinarian’s independent professional judgment will be adversely affected by a personal, professional or financial relationship with either the client or a third party.

2. A veterinarian should strongly consider whether or not to render services to a client if the services to that client will be adversely affected by the veterinarian’s responsibilities to another client, a third party or the veterinarian’s own interests.

3. Veterinarians provided endorsements and/or testimonials for commercial products should state if they are being compensated for their support. This includes veterinarians that have ownership interest in the product.

Revised by AAEP board of directors in 2023.

Resource Type

  • Position Statements

Publish Date

January 1, 2023