AVMA Convention Report

by Barry Kellogg, VMD

September 5, 2013

I was fortunate to help staff an HSVMA booth at the American Veterinary Medical Association convention recently in Chicago. It was a great opportunity for us to meet with our membership, solicit new members, and ask some interesting questions of the veterinary professionals in attendance. We really feel strongly that HSVMA is an organization that should represent its members, their desire to address animal welfare issues, and philosophy on how best to do so. I would like to share what the attendees told us by means of a short survey.

What is your predominant professional work category?

In your professional environment, how many veterinarians are involved?


For the next two questions, respondents were asked to rank each selection on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = not important at all and 5 = very important.

Rank the relative importance to you personally of each of the following welfare issues.

Rank the importance of the following factors when considering whether to join a professional veterinary organization.

How would you characterize your core animal beliefs?

In addition, noting the two top welfare concerns on this limited survey – humane euthanasia and humane slaughter – I would like to make you aware of the AVMA’s current reevaluation of the draft AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals.

The content of the draft guidelines reflects the AVMA's ongoing concern for the ethical treatment of animals at the end of life. The guidelines address slaughter from the point of off-loading to the death of the animal and have been developed for use by members of the veterinary profession who carry out or oversee the humane slaughter of hoofstock, poultry, rabbits and fish with the objective of providing guidance about how to prevent pain and distress in animals that have been designated for slaughter in accordance with the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act.

Because you have expressed interest in animal welfare issues, you may be interested in providing your comments on these draft guidelines. The AVMA is accepting comments through September 30, 2013. All comments must be submitted in a comment form that can be downloaded from the AVMA’s website, then emailed to ghsacomments@avma.org.

Again I would also like to remind you and encourage you to forward any comments or suggestions to me at bkellogg@hsvma.org that are of concern to you, the members of HSVMA.