Powered by you: Comments sought on AVMA euthanasia guidelines

Published on July 15, 2019

AVMA members to review proposed changes through August 31

Commenting Period Open Make Your Voice HeardOne of the AVMA's best known and globally recognized resources is being updated in light of recent research advances, and AVMA members can help shape the proposed changes.

The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals were first published in 1963 and have undergone regular review to keep up to date with scientific changes. This guidance represents best practices in humanely ending animals’ lives when necessary.

Recent advances have made new techniques and equipment available since the last guidelines update in 2013, and the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia has drafted proposed changes to incorporate these findings.

The panel is now looking for AVMA members to review and provide comments on the proposed changes between now and August 31, 2019. AVMA members can find the proposed changes and comment submission form at avma.org/Euthanasia. Along with a full-text markup showing all proposed language changes, you’ll also be able to read an executive summary that describes notable updates under consideration. Some of these include:

  • More detail regarding the differences between sedation and anesthesia
  • Changes to CO2 flow rates for rodents and rabbits
  • Physical technique improvements, such as captive bolt positioning for animals used for the production of food and fiber
  • Additional adjunctive methods for equids

AVMA members come together to write and review policies and guidance like the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals as part of a professional community committed to protecting, promoting and advancing veterinary medicine. We encourage all AVMA members to provide comment on the proposed changes to this important document. All comments will be reviewed carefully. Once appropriate changes have been incorporated into the document, the resulting revised draft will be presented to the AVMA Board of Directors for review and approval.


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