New AVMA guidelines reflect ongoing animal welfare commitment

The Veterinarian’s Oath includes a commitment to the protection of animal health and welfare as well as the prevention and relief of animal suffering.  Animals deserve humane treatment during every stage of their lives – including during the induction of death, whether it’s euthanasia, slaughter, or depopulation – and the new AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals reflect AVMA’s ongoing commitment to ensure that the treatment of animals during every stage of life is as humane and respectful as possible and without unnecessary pain or distress.

HumaneSlaughterGuidelines_0716During the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia’s revisions of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, the Panel determined that euthanasia, slaughter, and depopulation are distinct activities conducted in different environments with correspondingly different considerations for how animals are appropriately handled. Therefore, the AVMA convened the Panel on Humane Slaughter, which is comprised of veterinarians, animal scientists, and an animal ethicist. The panel experts provided considerable breadth and depth of expertise, supplemented by input from additional experts and comments provided during a designated, open comment period during development of the AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals. Separate guidelines for depopulation are in development by the AVMA’s Panel on Depopulation.

The new guidelines provide guidance for veterinarians about how to prevent pain and distress in animals that have been designated for slaughter. They address regulatory history; the design of facilities and the slaughter process; techniques; special circumstances; and religious (kosher and halal) slaughter.

If you’ll be attending the AVMA Convention in San Antonio, please join Drs. Temple Grandin and Kristin Pufpaff for their Hot Topics session addressing the new guidelines and discussing religious slaughter in particular, on Monday, Aug. 8, from 2 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. in Room Hemisfair1 of the convention center.

  • “Religious slaughter: separating fact from rhetoric” is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
  • “Exploring the need for transparency, modernization, and dialogue in religious slaughter” is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
  • Check the final program book or convention app for any changes made on site.

2 thoughts on “New AVMA guidelines reflect ongoing animal welfare commitment

  1. Matt, you make some interesting points. What also comes to mind are individuals like the veterinarian who thought it was amusing to shoot an arrow through a cat’s brain. Will she be allowed to keep her license and what does the veterinary profession, as a whole, think about that?

  2. The very concept of humane slaughter is bemusing. Oh how our societies suffer from short term memory loss…It was only 300 years ago now that ‘reputable’ members of society were campaigning for the humane slavery of blacks in the United States. The opinions of those such as General ‘Stonewall’ Jackson come to mind, who believed that the good Christian slaveholder was one who treated his servants fairly and humanely at all time.

    Oh how wonderful those humane slave holders were…Because cutting a cows throat open can magically become humane, as long as you fracture its skull with a bolt-gun before hand.

    It is incredibly hard to understand how so many supposedly intelligent and well educated people fail to recognize how ridiculous the concept of humane slaughter is.