September 01, 2009


 Random-source resolution scuttled

Posted Aug. 15, 2009

The House of Delegates didn't get a chance to vote on changes to AVMA policy on the "Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats for Research, Testing, and Education."

Resolution 2 was withdrawn from the agenda in Seattle by the House Advisory Committee, which submitted it, in light of the May 29 release of a National Academies report, "Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research."

The resolution proposed to change AVMA policy to oppose use of live animals procured from animal shelters or from dealers who deliver animals from shelters. The HAC explained in its statement about the resolution that the AVMA should not support a policy whereby animals that are abandoned, neglected, or lost are given over to a research or testing facility instead of a loving home or, where necessary, are euthanized. The Association's current policy states, in part, that "there is ample justification for prudent and humane use of random-source dogs and cats in research, testing, and education" provided that certain stated conditions are met.

Commenting on the resolution's withdrawal, AVMA CEO W. Ron DeHaven said the HAC recognized that some conclusions of the National Academies report were in conflict with�the resolution. In addition, the report applied only to NIH-funded research and didn't take into account needs for other types of research, canine blood banks, or teaching in veterinary colleges. The HAC decided more background work is required before revising AVMA policy.

The AVMA Animal Welfare Committee will review the report as part of its ongoing analysis of the need for random-source animals in research, education, and testing.