Animal Writes
8 July 2001 Issue
American Veterinary Medical Association Supports Animal Abuse


Does your veterinarian care about animals? Not if he or she follows the guidelines and policies of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Check out the AVMA website listing all AVMA official policies: 

The American Veterinary Medical Association has an Animal Welfare Committee that is supposed to write animal welfare policies to protect animals from inhumane treatment. However, the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee is composed of pro-industry veterinarians who have 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) Please notice. The majority of animals treated by veterinarians are cats and dogs. Yet only one practitioner represents small animals on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. Small animal practitioners tend to be more sympathetic to individual animals but they are overwhelmed by industry veterinarians on the Committee. Read on!

The AVMA does not recognize any animal rights and has been a scathing critic of anyone wishing to address the inherent needs of animals. McDonald's required its suppliers to enlarge the size of the hen's cage and to stop forced molting. However, the AVMA still supports 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? A poultry industry veterinarian is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (2)

Coca Cola has withdrawn its rodeo sponsorship after viewing violent tapes of rodeo events and reading descriptions of injuries to rodeo animals described by meat inspectors, according to Dr. Peggy Larson and Mr. Steve Hindi. Coke was extremely concerned about rodeo animal violence

and its effect on children. The AVMA was presented with the same information and yet continues to adamantly support rodeo. WHY? A pro-rodeo veterinarian, 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. WHY? A pro-trapper is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (4) This same individual advocated shooting feral cats as a solution to the feral cat problem

The AVMA acknowledges that there are "spectator events involving animals where injuries may occur" 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 killed by veterinarians for insurance money), cutting, reining, jumping and field trials. 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? Veterinarians favoring animal use in spectator events are on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee (5)

The AVMA supports the "Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats for Research, Testing, and Education." "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." WHY?

A research veterinarian is on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (6) No pound dog or cat is safe from the AVMA!

The AVMA supports the use of biologic specimens, cats, frogs and other animals, in pre-college education. With the help of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, many educational institutions are opting for non-animal specimens. WHY? 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? 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 in small stalls where they cannot turn around and are fed an unbalanced diet to make "white veal," pigs confined in crates, calves fattened in feedlots where they are fed antibiotics, 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? Livestock industry veterinarians are on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. (9)


If you are concerned about the AVMA policies, contact the American Veterinary Medical Association at:

Bruce Little, DVM

AVMA Executive Vice President

1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100

Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360

Phone 847-925-8070

Fax 847-925-1329

e-mail: [email protected] 


(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 and Coca Cola. Also from Steve Hindi who presented video material at the Coke meeting.

(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) (7) (8) (9) Quoted from the official AVMA Animal Welfare Position on the AVMA website

Go on to Billy
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