As you may already be aware, the AVMA House of Delegates was scheduled to discuss and vote on a proposed policy about raw/undercooked animal-source protein diets for companion animals during their meeting today. It certainly has been a controversial topic, as shown by the large number of comments on our previous AVMA@Work blog entry.
The resolution was thoroughly discussed Thursday afternoon by a reference committee, and two amendments were proposed. (See the attached document, Raw or Undercooked Animal.amendments. The amended text is in red on the attached document.) The first amendment added a paragraph that acknowledges that there are some pet owners who prefer to feed these diets, and states that vets should ensure that owners are aware of the risks and measures to mitigate the health risks. The second amendment changed “never feed” in the first bullet point to “avoid feeding.”
The HOD discussion and vote took place today. Prior to the discussion, all in attendance were requested to disclose any potential conflicts of interest. (This is standard procedure.) Those opposing the amendment felt that it weakened the policy and that the policy is based on sound evidence that there is risk. Those supporting the amendment felt it was necessary to allow vets to serve clients without facing conflict with AVMA policy.
The HOD voted NOT to pass the first amendment to the proposed policy with a majority vote of 66.6% against the amendment.
The second amendment, which changed the first bullet point’s “never feed” to “avoid feeding,” was PASSED with a majority vote of 91.9% in favor of the amendment.
Following the discussion, the House voted on the amended proposed policy via electronic balloting. In order for a resolution such as this to pass, a majority vote is required. The final outcome of the vote was 90.9% in favor of the amended resolution. This proposed policy is now policy as amended.
Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians (regardless of whether they’re AVMA members or not) to comply, or even agree with it. It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods. Nor is it an attempt to force a ban or restrict pet owners’ rights to feed their pets how and what they want.
Another blog post on the rest of the resolutions and bylaws amendments will be posted after the meeting has concluded.