Veterinarians gather for seminal conversation on animal welfare

Nearly 200 veterinarians and veterinary students gathered last month for a first-of-its-kind, AVMA-sponsored forum focused exclusively on having a discussion about animal welfare and its practical, societal and ethical implications. After the two-day session ended, all agreed that the dialogue must – and will – continue. 

The gathering, titled “Can You Hear Me Now? The Conversation,” focused on how veterinarians approach animals’ welfare and why. During the program, an impressive group of internationally renowned speakers shared information about the scientific, social, political, market and legal aspects of how and why animal welfare decisions are made. In doing so, they helped attendees bolster the foundation of their animal welfare knowledge. 

Attendees then had the opportunity to apply their knowledge to challenges involving a range of species and environments through roundtable exercises in problem-solving and consensus building. Through it all, participants gathered information about the needs of species they don’t regularly diagnose and treat, while also obtaining valuable insights about welfare challenges they themselves face from those with an outside perspective. 

Our hope is that The Conversation initiated a journey of learning and dialogue that will continue well into the future. Having better-informed and more broadly shared conversations about animals’ use and care will encourage and better equip us to fully embrace our role not only as experts in animal health, but as primary protectors of animals’ welfare and advocates for sound public policy at all levels. 

We’re in the process of taking content from The Conversation and converting it into resources that will be made available to all of our members. We’ll keep you posted as things develop.

3 thoughts on “Veterinarians gather for seminal conversation on animal welfare

  1. This post is really informative about animal welfare. Sounds great and with this kind of conversation you will learn and get more knowledge about animal welfare for sure.

  2. I have been trying to alert the AVMA to this crisis for several years now. They do not seem to know the difference between animal rights and animal welfare and seem unwilling to learn it. The recent “conversation” did not include hobby breeders, farmers,or organizations representing breeders of any animals.

    The AR agenda is spread one city, one county, one state at a time, and our profession has blindly stumbled into supporting it without questioning the goals of the AR movement. They belive they are being politically correct without taking the lead in educating the public and governing bodies about the ultimate impact of restrictive legislation drafted by such organizations as PETA and HSUS. When there are no breeders, there will be no need for veterinarians. No one will have pets, dairy products, meat, leather shoes, or life-saving drugs developed using animal models.

  3. I hope that veterinarians everywhere understand clearly that the animal rights movement is one that intends to end all use of animals as companions, food, and medical research. That would end the field completely as is the intent of all animal rights zealots. HSUS, ASPCA and PeTA are all now people by the same zealots. Vets have now become the same target for abuse that companion animal breeders have become. You will now find yourself the target of lies and charges of being greedy for money with regard to your care of animals. You will be asked to spy on your customers and be colluded into doing so under threat of the focus on your own practices. This new philosophy that purports animals to have rights based upon a supposed sentient being also gives this right to insects as well. The entire industry of medicine and research is coming under attack by these luddites who anthropomorphize animals. This is dangerous to all human beings as the human brain requires ACTIVE VB12 found only in meat products. Lack of ACTIVE VB12 produces irrational thinking and overly emotional responses of the human brain. 12 million children die each year from lack of high quality protein and last year nearly 30 infants in the US and UK died from strict vegan induced diets from their own parents despite medical advice to ensure a proper diet. This cult activity must be stopped and the discussion should be had regarding the collaborative needs of both humans and animals. The animal rights cults goals are to end all breeding of domestic animals and to separate humans from all use of animals for any purpose, thus the desire to end use of the carriage horse businesses, pet shops. exotic pets, zoos, aquariums, circuses and to ban any item or business that allows such use of animals. This results in the destruction of natural species as introduced species such as the 200 lb northern grey wolf introduction has all but decimated the 70 lb native wolf species in the west. Balance of nature will not be restored. Many claim the wolf is “the missing link” in the ecosystem. What’s not being said is that wolves create a whole new set of problems in the course of nature and wildlife management. Studies in Minnesota, Alaska, and Canada prove this conclusively. These are just a few of the egregious examples of this animal rights philosophy. Right now we have diseased feral dogs being shipped in from India, Puerto Rico and China where rabies is rampant putting people and animals at risk. Parasites unknown in this country are appearing with every shipment of dogs. The unsuspecting public is being sold these animals in transport without even knowing their original location or the diseases they carry by so called rescue groups. This has become big money for these organizations as they have no over head with everything donated from air travel to food. This year alone 15 people had to undergo rabies treatment for coming into contact with such animals. This has got to stop and the AVMA needs to take the lead in stopping this unfettered importation of feral diseased ridden dogs. Also if you support mandatory spay and neuter of every animal where do you think your next clients will come from? The northeastern states are now extremely low in the number of companion animals available for purchase and adoption. Shelters are only staying open through these importation of feral dogs which is up to close on one million animals being imported this year alone. The number of show breeders of quality dogs is dropping every year due to the propaganda put out by HSUS that any breeder is a bad breeder. 12 million people look to purchase pet each year and the quality breeders whether private or commercial can not supply this need. Its time you stood up and told the public that any animal can get sick at any time and that all living things will have some genetic issues. That well bred purebred dogs are subject to fewer genetic issues than the mixed breed dog. With a 47% return rate of all shelter dogs and a 1.4% return rate on purebred dogs its clear the purebred is more reliable companion animal. You do the public and yourselves no favor by promoting or supporting the animal rights movement. Animal welfare is different from animal rights and its time you stood up and said so. So many species of birds are being saved by exotic animal owners who know their species and breed them keeping genetic diversity for future reintroduction in the wild. The same for other species as well. Without these people many species would have disappeared already. The knowledge gained from their passion has been invaluable in keeping many species from becoming extinct. Support your good breeders and their right to breed otherwise you will find your field becoming extinct as well. Advocate for the well bred companion animal and stop promoting the animal rights agenda. Educate yourselves on the goals of the animal rights agenda which is to end all domestic species and to stop all use of all animals for any purpose. You can no longer hide your heads in the sand and continue to give credence to these groups who intend to destroy the lives of of those who love animals. Another egregious example is the Humane Society of the United States (unaffiliated with local humane societies). This group reels in a wide array donors with its heart-wrenching ads showing kitties and puppies, and yet it only spends 1 percent of its $130 million annual budget on pet shelters, according to its tax returns.* From an article by Jeffrey H. Joseph is a business professor at the George Washington University School of Business. Stop supporting this animal rights cult for profit organization.