Sentient The Veterinary Institute for Animal Ethics

Tanya Burton

Sentient Student Member


Tanya Burton, who was awarded second prize in the recent Sentient Essay Prize on Animal Welfare and Ethics, is a fifth year Veterinary Science student from James Cook University in Townsville.


Tanya grew up on a property on the Atherton Tablelands in Tropical North Queensland before moving to Townsville for university. She feels very lucky that from a young age, she was exposed to a large variety of animals in many different production, leisure and veterinary contexts. Her experiences have continued to fuel her passion and desire to study and make a difference to the health and welfare of animals.


Tanya’s essay was on ‘The Effect of Dehorning Management and Genetic Selection on the Welfare of Food Producing Cattle.’ She introduces her work as follows: “This essay demonstrates my interest and devotion to the role that I will play in advocating and protecting the health and welfare of animals as a veterinarian. It analyses the current ethical issues with dehorning cattle and provides alternatives to current dehorning practices to improve animal welfare. I believe that any improvement in the humane treatment and recognition of animals as sentient beings is a move in the right direction.”