Animal Welfare Committee (AWC)

Activities of the Animal Welfare Committee are guided by the AVMA Animal Welfare Principles and are directed toward meeting the association's strategic goals and objectives for animal welfare as established by AVMA leadership.

In meeting its charge, the committee seeks to:

  • Proactively identify and prioritize animal welfare concerns and opportunities,
  • Critically evaluate related information from individuals and groups internal and external to the AVMA, and
  • Use that information to determine which issues fall within the role and influence of veterinary medical professionals and what actions or activities may be appropriate responses to those animal welfare concerns and opportunities.

The committee has 18 members and alternates representing: American Animal Hospital Association, American Association of Avian Pathologists, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Association of Industry Veterinarians, American Association of Feline Practitioners, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, Veterinary Medical Association Executives, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Association of Shelter Veterinarians, Association of Avian Veterinarians, American Association of Fish Veterinarians, humane or animal welfare organizations, state veterinary medical associations, and Student AVMA. Committee members communicate and are actively engaged with the organizations they represent and, as such, bring a wealth of scientific expertise and practical experience to the table.

Committee members are appointed by the AVMA Board of Directors from nominations received from applicable organizations. Members serve once renewable, three-year term, except the representative of the Student AVMA who is appointed by the Student AVMA to a one-year, renewable term.

The USDA-APHIS Deputy Administrator for Animal Care, the USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services Farm Animal Welfare Coordinator, the USDA-FSIS Humane Handling Enforcement Coordinator, and a professionally credentialled ethicist attend committee meetings as guests. The committee also maintains liaisons with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Committee and the Federation of Animal Science Societies Animal Care Committee.