Animal welfare positions on cattle branding, veal calf welfare refined

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The Executive Board approved a revised version of the position statement on "Branding of Mexican Cattle." The revised position, now titled "Branding," recognizes the importance of permanent identification of animals to the nation's livestock industry and public health. The position statement also recommends that priority be placed on developing alternatives to hot-iron branding.

The Executive Board also approved replacing the former position on "Veal Calf Welfare and Production Guidelines" with a simplified position, "Veal Calf Welfare." The revision was made because the American Veal Association provides extensive welfare guidelines, and some information in AVMA guidelines did not reflect current practices. The AVMA also consulted the American Association of Bovine Practitioners before taking action.

The simplified AVMA position emphasizes veterinary oversight, adequate nutrition and lighting, appropriate environments that prevent injury to the calf, and provide proper ventilation, temperature, and humidity control.