AVMA Animal Welfare Committee Report

by Barry Kellogg, VMD

July 17, 2013

attentive cow
Laurent Renault/iStock

As many of you already know, I was appointed to the Animal Welfare committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association last year. I feel very fortunate that I can really serve as a representative for HSVMA and other animal welfare organizations, and voice our ideals on that committee. I am very pleased with the attitude and broad expertise of the committee members. We are really all on the same side when it comes to animal welfare issues. I applaud the AVMA for the creation of this committee and thank the members that serve with me for their efforts and abilities.

I would like to update everyone on the results of the recommendations of the Animal Welfare Committee. These recommendations were sent on to the Executive Board of the AVMA for their June meeting. There were several other issues that they addressed at that meeting as well that are of significance to HSVMA members. The specific changes can be found on the AVMA website and would be too voluminous to include in a report such as this; however, the highlights can be found summarized as follows:

Specific AWC recommendations and actions:

(1) Revise AWC entity description to designate zoo/wildlife position on the committee as AAZV/AAWV

(2) Revised policy on elephant guides and tethers

(3) Revised policy on swine castration
-amended and approved.

(4) Revised policy on transport of dogs in motor vehicles

(5) New policy on relocation of pets for adoption
-forwarded to House of Delegates by EB with recommendation for approval

(6) New policy on transport, sale yard practices and humane slaughter of hoof stock and poultry
-amended and approved

Other EB actions that I feel are of specific interest to HSVMA members and the animal welfare community:

  • A recommendation from the Committee on Environmental Issues to establish a policy on lead-based fishing tackle and ammunition used for hunting was disapproved.
  • Recommendations from the Legislative Advisory Committee that AVMA adopt positions of:
    • "no action" for the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act was approved.
    • "active support of passage" for the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act was approved.
    • "support" for the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act was approved.
    • "active pursuit of passage" for the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act was approved.
    • "support" for K-9 Veterans Day was approved.
    • "no action" for draft legislation to amend the AWA to provide for the protection of birds, rats and mice was approved.
    • "support" for the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2013 was approved.


In closing, I would like encourage you to contact me with any welfare concerns that you may have that we could be of help in addressing. There has been and continues to be lots of progress on welfare issues but there are certainly a lot more to address and we need your input to guide us in the direction you want your association to go!