Animal Welfare Division

The Animal Welfare Division was initiated on May 1, 2006 and is charged with monitoring the science of human-animal interactions and assisting the AVMA in proactively addressing developing issues related to animal welfare and the human-animal bond. The Division provides scientific analyses of issues, supports the committees that develop AVMA policy on animal welfare and the human-animal bond, and implements approved AVMA policies.

The AVMA prioritized animal welfare-related strategic goal is that the "AVMA is a leading advocate for, and an authoritative, science-based resource on animal welfare." The AVMA Animal Welfare Principles guide the Division and its assigned committees in their approach to animal welfare concerns.

Activities in which the Division is currently involved include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategic planning, with a focus on meeting the Association's animal welfare goal
  • Environmental scanning and issue identification
  • Authoritative source development
    • Backgrounders (comprehensive literature and information reviews)
    • Guidelines and standards documents
  • Service on advisory bodies
  • Manuscript review for field-specific journals
  • Federal, state, and local issue support (e.g., scientific and regulatory review, advocacy)
  • International standard-setting via the OIE animal welfare initiative
  • Relationships/liaisons (e.g., academia, industry, advocacy organizations, government)
  • Presentations, symposia, and workshops
  • Education for veterinary students, graduate veterinarians, veterinary staff, those in the animal use industries, and the public

The Animal Welfare Division serves as primary staff support for:

  • The Animal Welfare Committee
  • The Committee on the Human-Animal Bond
  • House Reference Committee #2