Animal Welfare Symposium 2014: Huma​ne Endings - In Search of Best Practices for the Euthanasia, Humane Slaughter and Depopulation of Animals

The AVMA is pleased to provide access to audiovisual proceedings from its November 2014 Symposium, "Humane Endings—In Search of Best Practices for the Euthanasia, Humane Slaughter, and Depopulation of Animals". 'Humane Endings' reflects the essence of the AVMA's approach toward developing and providing scientifically robust and ethically responsible guidance for humanely ending the lives of animals when that is necessary.

Members & Attendees


The AVMA's work in this area began in 1963 with the publication of the first edition of the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia and has been followed by eight editions of this now globally accepted standard for best practices, including the most recent and most comprehensive edition released in 2013. In 2012, the AVMA recognized that while some euthanasia methods may be utilized in slaughter and depopulation, these environments and related best practices often fall outside the context of euthanasia and, accordingly, deserve their own attention. Hence, the AVMA initiated the development of two additional guidance documents: the AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals and the AVMA Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals.

Consistent with the obligations of the Veterinarian's Oath, the AVMA and its Panels are committed to ensuring the AVMA's guidelines meet expectations for continuous improvement. This symposium is part of that commitment. An exciting 2.5 days of presentations and posters took a comprehensive look at existing best practices and explored research aimed at making those practices even better. In addition, a Panel discussion on international approaches allowed attendees to learn from experts and policy makers from around the world. The scientific information presented during this special event, as well as practical experiences shared during its conversations, will be used to continue to improve the quality of the AVMA guidance documents-they are forever works-in-progress.

In addition to our speakers, poster presenters, and panelists, the following members of the Humane Endings Program Committee deserve a world of thanks for their tireless commitment toward making this event a reality and a success-it would not have been possible without them:

Program Chair
Samuel Cartner, DVM, MPH, PhD, DACLAM; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama

Plenary Sessions
Steven Leary, DVM, DACLAM; Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Wendy Underwood, DVM; Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Raymond Anthony, PhD; University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska
Temple Grandin, PhD; Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, PhD, DABVT, DABT; Veterinary Information Network, Urbana, Illinois
Robert Meyer, DVM, DACVA; Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi

Species Sessions

Companion, Exotic, Zoo and Wild Animals
M.A. McCrackin, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACLAM; Ralph H. Johnson VAMC & Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Cheryl Greenacre, DVM, DABVP; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
David Miller, DVM, PhD, DACZM; Loveland, Colorado

Laboratory and Aquatic Animals
Samuel Cartner, DVM, MPH, PhD, DACLAM; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Roy Yanong, VMD; University of Florida, Ruskin, Florida

Food Animals and Equids
Jan Shearer, DVM, MS, DACAW; Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Douglas Corey, DVM; Associated Veterinary Clinic, Walla Walla, Washington

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