Welfare statements reflect signs of times

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Several AVMA statements on animal welfare received facelifts during the board meeting. The Animal Welfare Committee updated the position on Animal Abuse and Animal Neglect, adding a sentence that stresses the importance of accurate record keeping and documentation of these cases.

The position on dog and cock fighting now clearly applies to all animal fighting and the transport of animals for that purpose. The AVMA supports laws against use of and/or transport of domestic or foreign animals for fighting ventures.

The position statement on use of random-source dogs and cats was updated to include use for research, testing, and education. The new verbiage also clarifies that random-source dogs and cats should be obtained from shelters that desire to participate in such programs.

The statement on euthanasia of unwanted animals was modified to indicate that the AVMA is not opposed to euthanasia of unwanted animals when appropriate.

Other issues being considered by the committee are pain in animals; transportation of loose or single-tethered dogs in cargo areas of pickup trucks; free-roaming, owned cats; abandoned and feral cats; and ultrashort tail docking of lambs.