The AVMA has adopted a new position statement regarding dental surgery performed on captive nonhuman primates and exotic and wild carnivores.
The AVMA Animal Welfare Committee recommended the new statement, which was developed in cooperation with the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians.
The "Removal or reduction of canine teeth in captive nonhuman primates or exotic and wild (indigenous) carnivores" position statement reads:
The AVMA is opposed to removal or reduction of canine teeth in captive nonhuman primates or exotic and wild (indigenous) carnivores, except when required for medical treatment or scientific research approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Reduction that does not expose the pulp cavity may be acceptable. Reduction that exposes the pulp cavity, without pulpotomy or root canal, or removal of these teeth may result in oral pathologic conditions and pain.
To minimize bite wounds, recommended alternatives to dental surgery include behavioral modification, environmental enrichment, and changes in group composition.