June 01, 2001


 Electroimmobilization position amended

Posted May 15, 2001

The AVMA has amended its position on electroimmobilization, the use of electricity to restrain or paralyze animals. The new statement reads:

"The AVMA does not support the use of electroimmobilization for animal restraint."

Electroimmobilization is not to be confused with electric stunning. When electric stunning is correctly applied, a high amp current is passed through the brain to render an animal instantly unconscious. When electroimmobilization is used, a small current is passed through an animal's body, paralyzing the muscles while the animal remains conscious.

Research results are now available that indicate electroimmobilization causes unnecessary stress in animals. The Animal Welfare Committee, therefore, recommended amending the AVMA's position, which had stated that the Association did not endorse the practice because there was not enough evidence regarding the animal's safety.

The American Association of Bovine Practitioners and American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners do not support the use of electroimmobilization.