June 01, 2001


 AVMA won't support ban on reptile pets

Posted May 15, 2001 

NOTE: As of November 2007, the AVMA discontinued use of the term "informed consent" in matters relating to veterinary medicine replacing it with the term "owner consent".
(see JAVMA News, Dec. 15)

The AVMA will not join The Humane Society of the United States in petitioning the FDA to ban the sale of reptiles as pets, a measure the HSUS asserts is necessary because of the public health risk of reptile-associated salmonellosis.

The AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine, which recommended that the AVMA not sign the petition, believes there are reasonable alternatives to a ban. Options for safeguarding public health include education, informed consent of purchasers of reptiles, and point-of-sale warnings.

The petition is based on a report about reptile-associated salmonellosis issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in 1999. Since the report was published, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working with such organizations as the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians to raise public awareness about the health risks associated with reptile ownership.

The council believes these educational efforts should be encouraged and evaluated properly before promoting efforts to ban reptiles as pets.