On June 22, the AVMA alerted veterinary leaders and communicators to a full-page attack advertisement in the June 21 edition of The New York Times questioning the Association's commitment to animal welfare.
"Has anyone betrayed more animals than the American Veterinary Medical Association?" is the title of the negative ad, sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Animal Rights International, United Poultry Concerns, and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights. The ad is estimated to cost upwards of $150,000.
The ad encourages readers to give a copy, which can be downloaded from www.ari-online.org/cruelavma/, to their veterinarians and ask them to urge the AVMA to change its positions on such issues as sow housing, induced molting, and veal calf housing. The ad also directs readers to www.AVMAHurtsAnimals.com and www.farmsanctuary.org.
To notify AVMA members before they hear from clients or the news media about this latest attack on the Association, the AVMA on June 22 electronically notified members of the House of Delegates and Executive Board, officers, and executive directors of constituent organizations. They were contacted via e-mail and the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives' list serve.
AVMA members can read the memo by logging on to www.avma.org/animal_welfare, clicking on "Hot Topics," and signing in. Attached to the memo was a prepared statement on "Animal Welfare as a Priority," which articulates the AVMA position on issues raised in the ad. AVMA members can click on a link in the memo to access this statement. In addition to "Hot Topics," a link is provided to "Animal Welfare Resources."