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Sharon Granskog
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 AVMA to host Humane Endings symposium on the euthanasia, humane slaughter and depopulation of animals

Humane Endings(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) Sept. 30, 2014 – The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is hosting a unique animal welfare symposium that will bring together thought leaders from around the globe as they explore best practices for euthanasia, humane slaughter and depopulation across animal species.

"Humane Endings – In Search of Best Practices for the Euthanasia, Humane Slaughter and Depopulation of Animals" will be held Nov. 3-5 at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill., just a short distance from O'Hare International Airport. The symposium will take a comprehensive look at existing practices, while also exploring research and innovation in the name of continuous improvement.

"This symposium is truly a rare opportunity," says Dr. Samuel Cartner, chair of the symposium's planning committee. "We are fortunate to be able to welcome speakers from around the world – including veterinarians, scientists from a range of disciplines, bioethicists and policy makers – so that their expertise can be broadly and actively shared with others who are working to ensure humane conclusions to animals' lives, whether that is happening through euthanasia, slaughter or depopulation."

Following plenary sessions on day one, attendees can choose from three species-directed tracks on day two: Companion, zoo and wild animals; laboratory and aquatic animals; and horses and food animals. While conveying information about methods that best protect the welfare of animals, speakers will also attend to some oft-overlooked issues, such as euthanasia and depopulation of nontraditional species, field research, cultural needs and preferences, and effects on the people who are responsible for carrying out these activities. Day three will include a by-invitation workshop where participants will consider approaches to the international harmonization of recommendations. Attendees can express their interest in participating in the harmonization workshop during the registration process.

Information gathered at the symposium will assist the AVMA in keeping its recommendations for humane endings for animals current. Attendees are expected to include representatives from research, clinical practice and public policy, which makes this an excellent opportunity for attendees across all disciplines to network with colleagues.

"What methods are available, what affects their application, the impact of these activities on both the animals and people involved, and where we can improve are all important to our responsibility and opportunity to promote animals’ good welfare," adds Dr. Gail Golab, director of the AVMA's Animal Welfare Division.

The symposium agenda and registration information are available on the AVMA's website at A block of discounted hotel rooms for the event are being reserved for attendees until Oct. 12.

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