Weigh in on AVMA animal welfare policies

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A new online tool gives AVMA members an opportunity to provide direct input that will help shape the Association's animal welfare policies.

Members can now visit the AVMA website to provide input on animal welfare policies by going here. The Web page lists animal welfare policies under review or being considered for adoption by the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee, provides background information on those policies, and asks members to submit a comment and supporting documentation.

This new tool reflects the AVMA's dedication to understanding and incorporating the expertise, perspectives, and needs of AVMA members.

"We're not asking our members to 'vote' on AVMA policies, so to speak, but rather, we're offering an opportunity to provide substantive comments on animal welfare topics in which they may be particularly interested or about which they have special expertise," explains Dr. Gail C. Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division.

To protect the privacy of AVMA members, comments are not available for public review, but the Association will make public a summary of the comments received. The summary will be posted together with the Animal Welfare Committee's response to that input. The response may include new actions or policies adopted by the AVMA.

The first three policies posted for input were existing policies on "Free Roaming, Owned Cats" and "Therapeutic Medications in Racehorses" and a new policy under development on "Hot-Iron Branding and Its Alternatives." Those had an Aug. 1 comment deadline. At press time it was anticipated that input on the AVMA sow housing policy would be invited with a later deadline. Time frames for comments will correspond with the semiannual meetings of the Animal Welfare Committee, although occasionally comments may be sought at other times.