Positions and Policy Statements

HSVMA Positions

Any organization is best defined and understood by the positions that organization takes on various issues. HSVMA has adopted positions on a variety of topics or issues that we believe have animal welfare implications. In cases where we have done extensive reviews or work on a position, we have included a link to our full policy statement that presents the detailed philosophy and rationale for our rules of engagement on that issue.

Positions are arranged by subject category, whereas policy statements are arranged strictly alphabetically and not in the order of perceived importance.

Animal Welfare and the Veterinary Profession

  • The HSVMA recognizes and endorses the Five Freedoms as the base line for appropriate animal welfare.
  • The HSVMA recognizes the value of veterinary technicians as an integral component of veterinary medicine and urges full utilization of veterinary technicians.  We, therefore, endorse the Veterinary Nurse Initiative (VNI).  Listen to the recorded VNI informational session given by NAVTA's National Credential Task Force on July 10 here»

Positions Applying to All Species

  • The HSVMA believes all animals should have access to care. Learn more»
  • The HSVMA believes veterinarians have the responsibility to educate clients about all aspects of the cost of care.
  • The HSVMA believes that appropriate anesthesia must accompany all surgical procedures on animals.
  • The HSVMA supports mandatory reporting by veterinarians of suspected animal cruelty.
    Read the HSVMA policy statement on this issue»
  • The HSVMA believes that the relocation of pets for adoption to different geographical areas should be preceded by appropriate veterinary exam and oversight.

Companion Animals


  • The HSVMA opposes horse soring. Learn more»
  • The HSVMA opposes horse tripping.

Animals Used in Food Production


  • The HSVMA supports banning the use of lead ammunition in hunting and fishing. Learn more»
  • The HSVMA opposes the practice of shark finning.
  • The HSVMA opposes the practice of “Velveting” (Removal of living antlers from deer).
  • The HSVMA opposes the removal or reduction of healthy teeth in nonhuman primates and carnivores.
  • The HSVMA opposes the use of steel jawed leg hold traps for wildlife capture and control.
  • The HSVMA opposes the private ownership of dangerous and exotic animals.

HSVMA Policy Statements

The policy statements below outline the HSVMA’s detailed philosophy and rationale for our rules of engagement on the following animal welfare issues.