AVMA to ask surgeon general to make a statement

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Following approval by the Executive Board, the AVMA will send a letter to the U.S. Surgeon General encouraging him to publish a statement on biomedical research. The AVMA will request that his office recognize the central and essential role that animals play in biomedical research and education for the sake of humans and animals; agree that humane care and use of these animals is an integral part of these activities; promote the proper stewardship of animals in meaningful research and education programs; and condemn all acts of vandalism against research facilities and their workers.

The Council on Research recommended that this letter be written, believing that statements from highly regarded public offices will help educate the public about the importance of animal research and condemn acts of domestic terrorism against animal researchers. Such statements are needed, because of the increasingly aggressive tactics of extreme animal rights groups within the United States. Since the Surgeon General, currently Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, is the nation's leading spokesman on matters of public health, he can voice a strong public message on behalf of the U.S. medical community. This may help counteract the message from extreme animal rights groups.

The AVMA Animal Welfare Committee and Council on Public Relations supported the recommendation.