Animal Welfare Division and the Human-Animal Bond

The Division is charged with monitoring the science of animal welfare and assisting the AVMA in proactively addressing developing issues related to animal welfare and the human-animal bond. The Division provides scientific analyses of these issues, supports the committees that develop AVMA policy on animal welfare and the human-animal bond, and implements approved AVMA policies. It comprises five staff members (Director, two Assistant Directors, an Animal Welfare Scientist, and an Administrative Assistant).

The AVMA prioritized animal welfare-related strategic goal is that the "AVMA is a leading advocate for, and an authoritative, science-based resource on animal welfare." The Animal Welfare Principles guide the Division and its assigned committees in their approach to animal welfare issues.

Activities in which the Division is currently involved include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategic planning, with a focus on meeting the Association's animal welfare goal
  • Environmental scanning and issue identification
  • Authoritative source development
    • Backgrounders (comprehensive literature and information reviews)
    • Guidelines and standards documents
  • Service on advisory bodies
  • Manuscript review for field-specific journals
  • Federal, state, and local issue support (e.g., scientific and regulatory review, advocacy)
  • International standard-setting via the OIE animal welfare initiative
  • Relationships/liaisons (e.g., academia, industry, advocacy organizations, government)
  • Presentations, symposia, and workshops
  • Education for veterinary students, graduate veterinarians, those in the animal use industries, and the public

The Animal Welfare Division serves as primary staff support for:

  • The Animal Welfare Committee
  • The Panel on Euthanasia
  • The Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions
  • House of Delegates Reference Committee #2