DOES YOUR VETERINARIAN CARE ABOUT ANIMALS? Not if he or she supports the guidelines and policies of the American Veterinary Medical Association!
You can check out the AVMA website listing all AVMA official policies at: www.avma.org
The American Veterinary Medical Association has an Animal Welfare Committee which is supposed to write animal welfare policies to protect animals from inhumane treatment. However, the makeup of the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee uncovers a club for good old boy, pro-industry veterinarians with vested interests in the status quo who have far more interest in economics than the humane treatment of animals.
According to the AVMA, "The Committee has 13 members who represent small animal practice, swine practice, private equine clinical practice, private food animal clinical practice, poultry medicine, laboratory animal medicine, government service, humane or animal welfare organizations, industrial veterinary medicine, veterinary education and research, pet bird medicine, zoo and wildlife medicine, and the student AVMA." (1)
Unfortunately this constitutes the proverbial fox guarding the chicken coop. But wait, it gets worse! The AVMA does not recognize the rights of any animal and has been a scathing critic of anyone wishing to address the inherent needs of animals. Read on!
Consider the fact that the fast food giant McDonalds required its suppliers to enlarge the size of the hen's cage and to stop forced molting. However, the AVMA still supports both forced molting and tiny cages.
The AVMA states, "Housing Layer Chickens in Cages: The current use of cages to house layer chickens should be continued, and present knowledge is not sufficient to support a radical change or ban of this system."
Why would the AVMA take such a heartless view on such recognized cruelty? The obvious answer is that a poultry industry veterinarian is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (2)
The AVMA has been presented with graphic video documentation of abuse of animals in rodeo events, and additionally supplied with an extensive record of injuries and deaths of animals in rodeo. Dr. Peggy Larson, a large animal veterinarian and former rodeo participant, addressed the AVMA with expert testimony on the treatment and conditions of animals in this industry. (Read what Dr. Larson says about her experience with animal abuse in rodeos HERE.) Yet, the AVMA continues to adamantly support rodeo.
The reason for this outrageous position is that a pro-rodeo veterinarian, who is also a spokesperson for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (3)
The AVMA does consider the steel-jaw leghold trap to be inhumane. However, the wildlife veterinarian sitting on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee wants that policy changed to allow use of the steel-jawed leghold trap. This is the same individual who advocated shooting feral cats as a solution to reducing their numbers. What ever happened to "First, do no harm"? Are lap cats and family dogs the only sentient animals? Or is sentience only associated with paying customers? Unconscionable!
Why is the AVMA so weak on the issue of trapping? Because a pro-trapper is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee! (4)
The AVMA acknowledges that there are "spectator events involving animals where injuries may occur." Nevertheless, the AVMA but continues to support these events, including Greyhound racing, the Iditarod, roadside animal parks (notorious for their poor animal care), rodeo (five horses were killed in rodeo events last year and the dead and injured bovines are not even counted), polo, horse racing (a dirty business where horses are sometimes killed by veterinarians for insurance money), cutting, reining, jumping and field trials. The status quo "tradition" of beating up on animals in the name of entertainment is morally and socially unacceptable. The Europeans recognize that animals are sentient and is acting accordingly, but the AVMA disagrees and does nothing.
The AVMA merely condemns the practice of "soring" horses but does not consider it inhumane even though the federal government (USDA) considers this practice in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. "Soring" is deliberately causing pain in the front feet of Tennessee Walkers to make them step higher.
Why doesn't the AVMA take a stronger stance against practice that are cruel and in some cases illegal?
Did you know that the AVMA supports the "Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats for Research, Testing, and Education?" According to its own policy, "The AVMA believes that there is ample justification for the prudent and humane use of random-source animals in veterinary medical education and biomedical research."
So why does the AVMA condemn stray and abandoned animals to such horrors? Because a research veterinarian is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (6) No pound dog or cat is safe from the AVMA!
The AVMA also supports the use of biologic specimens, cats, frogs and other animals, in pre-college education. However, and with the help of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, many educational institutions are opting for non-animal specimens.
So why doesn't the AVMA "get it?" The answer is that a research veterinarian is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (7)
The AVMA "defends and promotes the use of animals in meaningful research, testing and education programs." Education programs use either live or dead animals as teaching aids.
WHY? Because a research veterinarian is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (8)
The "AVMA commends livestock and poultry producers, animal scientists, and veterinarians who have advanced the science of animal agriculture to the benefit of animals and mankind." To this end, the AVMA supports the confinement rearing of livestock and poultry.
The AVMA supports raising veal calves raised in tiny stalls and provided with poor nutrition to make "white veal," pigs deprived of exercise by confinement in crates, calves fattened in feedlots where they are fed antibiotics as growth stimulants, laying hens confined in tiny cages, and PMU farming where pregnant mares are confined to small stalls for 6 months and their foals are sold to slaughter.
Why does this indefensible policy exist? Because livestock industry veterinarians are on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (9)
The evidence makes clear that:
If you care about animals and don't want them to continue to suffer, you must contact the American Veterinary Medical Association. Let them know what you think about their heartless and hopelessly outdated policies. Tell them that condoning and promoting animal abuse is unacceptable and that the AVMA must change their policies to protect animals, not harm them. Here is the AVMA's contact information:
1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360
Contact via the web by clicking here.
(1) Information on the composition of the Animal Welfare Committee was taken from the AVMA Directory and from the AVMA website.
(2) Quoted from the official AVMA Animal Welfare Position on the AVMA website
(3) This information was provided by Dr. Peggy Larson who addressed both the Animal Welfare Committee.
It should be noted that although three people from the rodeo industry were allowed time to speak to the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee, only Dr. Larson was allowed to speak on behalf of animals. Steve Hindi, who requested an opportunity to speak, was denied.
(4) The provider of this information wishes to remain anonymous because he is an AVMA member.
(5) The harm caused by these events are well-known and documented. The veterinarians who killed horses for insurance money were tried in Illinois and convicted.
(6) Quoted from the official AVMA Animal Welfare Position on the AVMA website
(7) Quoted from the official AVMA Animal Welfare Position on the AVMA website
(8) Quoted from the official AVMA Animal Welfare Position on the AVMA website
(9) Quoted from the official AVMA Animal Welfare Position on the AVMA website