AVMA adjusts declaw, antimicrobial policies

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AVMA policy now states that cat owners should be able to decide whether to seek an onychectomy for their cats, in consultation with veterinarians. And a policy on antimicrobial use now includes a wider variety of uses.

The AVMA House of Delegates voted in July to add the statement about cat owners’ decision to the existing policy “Declawing of Domestic Cats.” Dr. Richard Sullivan, delegate from California, proposed the addition from the HOD floor in response to restrictive city ordinances in his state and what he expects will be a future national campaign by an advocacy organization opposed to onychectomy.

The delegates also approved modifying the policy as proposed in the main resolution by the AVMA Board of Directors to emphasize statements that veterinarians need to educate cat owners about declaw procedures.

“Onychectomy is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery,” the policy now states.

The delegates also expanded the AVMA policy “Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials” to include uses for disease prevention and control.

The updates also change the policy’s statements on disease prevention strategies, such as uses of husbandry, hygiene, routine monitoring, and vaccination, to indicate that such interventions should be “included” rather than “emphasized” in efforts toward judicious drug use. While the former policy stated that other interventions “should” be considered prior to antimicrobial use, the current one says they “may” be considered.

AVMA policies

For updated versions of AVMA policies, click here.