At its 2017 Winter Session today, the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) amended and approved a new policy on responsible breeding of companion animals. The policy reads as follows:
Inherited Disorders in Responsible Breeding of Companion Animals
To maximize the health and welfare of companion animals, the AVMA supports research in genetic and inherited disorders to better educate the profession and breeders on identifying and minimizing inherited disorders in companion animal breeding programs. To assist with this, the AVMA encourages veterinarians to pursue continuing education in the emerging area of genetic disease in companion animals. The AVMA also encourages veterinarians to educate breeders, companion animal owners, and the public on the responsibilities involved with breeding and selecting companion animals.
The proposed policy was developed by the Animal Welfare Committee, which is comprised of members who represent varied species and practice areas, as well as those who share perspectives from the Student AVMA (SAVMA), state VMAs, and Veterinary Medical Association Executives. The proposed policy was amended during discussion in reference committees and was passed unanimously by the House of Delegates. The new policy is consistent with existing policies or guidance provided by the American Animal Hospital Association and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.
The new policy addresses responsible breeding for all companion animals, not simply dogs and cats. The purpose of this policy is to support responsible breeding practices that reduce or eliminate the health and welfare concerns associated with inherited conditions, not to condemn or stigmatize specific breeds.