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January 15, 2020

Association strengthens policy on extractive industries

Published on January 02, 2020

The AVMA has bolstered its policy on extraction of gas, oil, and minerals to support responsible practices that minimize negative impacts on animals, humans, and the environment.

The previous policy on “Extractive Industries” stated only this: “AVMA supports objective scientific research on extractive industries’ impacts on animal health, foods of animal origin, and the environment.“

The AVMA Committee on Environmental Issues recommended strengthening the policy, with an emphasis on industry transparency. The committee believes that it is appropriate for the AVMA to weigh in when evidence suggests that the conduct of human activities is impacting the health and welfare of animals, according to background materials.

In late 2017, the United States withdrew as one of more than 50 implementing countries of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, although the U.S. remains a supporting country of the initiative. The EITI has established a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources.

Bison graze at dusk
Bison graze at dusk near a hydraulic fracturing rig. Fracking is a technique to extract oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel, and chemicals.

The AVMA Board of Directors, while meeting in November 2019, revised the AVMA policy on “Extractive Industries” to read as follows:

Extractive Industries
AVMA supports objective scientific research on extractive industries’ impacts on animal health, foods of animal and plant origin, and the environment. The AVMA also supports responsible extractive industry practices that minimize negative impacts on animals, humans, and the environment and believes that industry transparency is critical to achieve this goal.