Comments Sought on AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals

During the process of creating the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition, the Panel on Euthanasia (POE) determined that euthanasia, depopulation and slaughter are different activities conducted in different environments with correspondingly different considerations for how animals are appropriately handled. As such, the POE recommended addressing these activities separately and creating expert panels and reports addressing the specifics of each.

The content of the DRAFT AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals reflects the AVMA’s on-going concern for the ethical treatment of animals at the end of life. The Guidelines address slaughter from the point of off-loading to the death of the animal and have been developed for use by members of the veterinary profession who carry out or oversee the humane slaughter of hoofstock, poultry, rabbits and fish with the objective of providing guidance about how to prevent pain and distress in animals that have been designated for slaughter in accordance with the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (HMSA).

We’re inviting members to provide comments on the DRAFT document using the member comment form; both are posted on our website. Comments should be submitted, using the form provided, via email to through Sept. 30. Your input into the DRAFT of the AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals is a vital part of the review process, and we urge you to take a look and let us know your thoughts. Once all the comments have been gathered, they will be part of the final discussions leading up to publication of a new slaughter guidelines document.

One thought on “Comments Sought on AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals

  1. I am a firm believer of humane treatment of all animals, from birth to death, and the humane slaughter of animals is something that I am happy to see being gradually addressed more frequently over the past twenty years or so and now more than ever before. Growing up on a farm in Northern California I learned a lot about the various ways animals are slaughtered at the end of their life, whether for humane purposes or farming purposes. Seeing the gruesome history of non-humane animal slaughter being gradually phased out in favor of more sympathetic and considerate methods has been a great thing to witness; not only because of the intrinsic ethical concerns that are being addressed, but also because some of the things I saw on that farm as a young boy when an animal was taken to slaughter, namely the hoofstock, were so disturbing that they made an impression on me that stuck with me all the way to adulthood and have always been something I have wanted to see changed in my lifetime. I commend the AVMA for their efforts in making the end of animals lives void of unnecessary distress and/or pain and will continue to support this organization as long as they continue this great work advocating the humane end of life treatment and slaughter of animals. Thank you AVMA, I applaud your compassionate work.