AVMA Animal Welfare Award


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The AVMA Animal Welfare Award recognizes an AVMA member veterinarian for achievements in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research, product development, or advocacy. By doing so, the AVMA raises public awareness of the important role veterinarians play in:

  • Improving understanding of animal welfare-related science and ethics
  • Ensuring that animal use for human purposes is conducted responsibly
  • Attending to and promoting animal welfare within the context of responsible animal use

Nomination criteria

  • Nominee must be an AVMA member veterinarian
  • Nominations may be submitted by any individual (AVMA member or non-member) or organization (governmental and non-governmental)
  • Self-nominations will not be considered
  • Nominations must reflect specific accomplishments in the field of animal welfare. Examples of quality veterinary practice or promotion of the human-animal bond, while laudable, are not the focus of this award.
  • Nominations may be based on a sustained effort or an extraordinary single achievement in any or all the following areas:
    • Leadership
    • Public service (e.g., community programs, public policy development)
    • Research and/or product development
    • Education
    • Advocacy

Nomination requirements

  • Letter of nomination summarizing the nominee’s professional background including current professional activity, statement of significant achievements, and qualifications for the award
  • Interactive PDF nomination form
  • Curriculum vitae/resume, including relevant publications (not to exceed four single-sided typed pages)
  • Up to three letters of support from veterinarians, colleagues, clients, or organizations (not to exceed three single-sided typed pages each)
  • Digital high resolution (300 d.p.i.) colored headshot photograph, suitable for publication

Selection process

  • The Animal Welfare Committee selects the recipient
  • Preference is given to nominees who:
    • Recognize that science, ethics, and culture all contribute to how animals are used and cared for by people, and respect those contributions in arriving at solutions to animal welfare challenges
    • Work with a variety of stakeholders to raise awareness of issues of concern and engage those stakeholders in seeking solutions to challenges
    • Work actively to improve understanding of animal welfare needs and, when necessary, change human attitudes and behavior to ensure proper stewardship
    • Communicate information about, and propose solutions to, animal welfare challenges with courage and integrity
  • Recipient may not be selected in a given year if no nominee meets the criteria
  • The award recipient will receive one round-trip coach airfare in the name of the recipient, two nights hotel accommodations and registration (if applicable) to the venue designated by AVMA to accept the physical award
  • The award recipient will receive a related speaking engagement at the AVMA Convention

Merck Animal HealthAnimal Welfare, Humane and Bustad awards are generously funded by Merck Animal Health