HSVMA Commends AVMA for Revising Animal Welfare Stance
New Policy on Vet's Role in Preventing Animal Abuse and Neglect Stronger

January 13, 2010

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) commends the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for strengthening a policy statement that impacts the welfare of animals.

At its Executive Board meeting in November, the AVMA expanded its policy concerning the veterinarian's role in reporting animal abuse and neglect. The revised stance is incrementally stronger than the previous version.

AVMA Animal Abuse and Animal Neglect Policy

The new AVMA policy further qualifies the responsibility of the veterinarian to report cases of animal abuse or neglect 'whether or not reporting is mandated by law.' It now also states that disclosure of abuse 'is necessary,' rather than previously stating that this disclosure 'may be necessary.' Furthermore, it adds that 'it is the responsibility of the veterinarian to educate clients regarding humane care and treatment of animals.' Please read the full AVMA policy statement on animal abuse and animal neglect.

Relevant HSVMA Resources for Veterinary Practitioners

This is a critical professional issue to which HSVMA has devoted significant resources.

In December 2009, we offered a webinar, "The Veterinarian's Role in Recognizing, Reporting and Preventing Animal Cruelty" for veterinary professionals. We have also expanded our speaker presentations to veterinary students to include a similar talk, and we will be offering a related module to veterinary professionals for continuing education credit.

HSVMA also has an online directory listing mandated reporting requirements by state. Veterinary practitioners will find this directory a helpful reference resource.