Good news! The long-awaited 2013 edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals has been published and it, together with an Executive Summary, can be accessed as a .pdf on the AVMA website. An e-reader-friendly version will be available within a matter of days, and a print-on-demand book is also in the works for release at a later date.
Originally published in 1963, celebrating its 50th anniversary (!), and updated at least once every ten years, the document is designed for use by veterinarians who carry out or oversee the euthanasia of animals. More than three years of intense work and deliberation by more than 60 individuals—including veterinarians, animal scientists, animal behaviorists, physiologists, psychologists and an animal ethicist—resulted in the commentary and recommendations contained in the 2013 edition.
In addition to expanded information on species-specific euthanasia methods, the latest edition of the Guidelines includes:
- Euthanasia methods for invertebrates and other lower-order species;
- Advice on humane handling of animals before and during euthanasia;
- Information on collection of animals for scientific investigations, handling injured wild animals, and removal of animals causing property damage or threatening human safety;
- Additional information about confirmation of death and disposal of animal remains; and
- Flowcharts, illustrations, tables and appendices that clarify recommendations.
The AVMA is indebted to our colleagues identified on the title page of the Guidelines whose expertise and commitment as members of the Panel and its Working Groups resulted in the production of this work. If you know one of these individuals, please remember to thank them for their efforts!
Questions or comments about the new edition of the Guidelines and/or the Panel on Euthanasia may be directed to Dr. Gail Golab (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Emily Patterson-Kane (email@example.com) in the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Division.