Some pet policies revisited

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Veterinarians are more strongly encouraged to scan pets and horses for electronic identification devices because of a policy change implemented by the Executive Board April 3.

The AVMA policy "The Objectives and Key Elements Needed for Effective Electronic Identification of Companion Animals, Birds, and Equids" now states such animals should be scanned "whenever possible" when presented to a veterinarian rather than "when deemed necessary." Other changes include the addition of a provision that veterinarians or their staff should inform a client when a microchip from a previous owner is found and provide contact information for the microchip database company.

In other policy changes also recommended by the Council on Veterinary Service, the board took the following actions:

  • Rescinded the AVMA policy "Ferrets," which encouraged responsible ownership and veterinary care of the animals but singled out the one species for commentary
  • Rescinded the AVMA policy "Medical Care for the Pets of Indigent People," which encouraged cooperation among humane and veterinary associations to provide such care; veterinary practices and veterinary associations routinely provide such care on a case-by-case basis
  • Added a statement to the AVMA policy "Veterinary Dentistry" indicating veterinary health care workers may be allowed to perform certain dental procedures "as directed under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian in accordance with state regulations"