The Humane Endings Documents

The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals were first released in 1963 and have gone through eight revisions culminating in the 2013 edition. To meet the need for scientifically informed advice, and based upon a growing body of empirical literature, these guidelines have grown to embrace an increasing number of species and settings.

During the creation of the 2013 edition, the Panel on Euthanasia determined there was a need for two companion documents addressing conditions under which animals may need to be killed humanely, but that may not lend themselves to techniques currently meeting all the criteria described for euthanasia. These are the AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals and the AVMA Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals