AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals

The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals are intended for use by members of the veterinary profession who carry out or oversee the euthanasia of animals. The overriding commitment of these Guidelines is to provide veterinarians guidance in relieving pain and suffering of animals that are to be euthanized.

The recommendations in the Guidelines are intended to guide veterinarians, who must then use professional judgment in applying them to the various settings where animals are to be euthanized.

The AVMA Panel on Euthanasia develops the content of the Guidelines, with support from its Working Groups. The Panel is required to do a comprehensive review and update of the report at least every ten years, although more frequent major revisions are possible based on substantive information gleaned from new research and experience with practical implementation. To ensure the Guidelines remain as up-to-date as possible, interim revisions (reflecting substantive updates, but of a less extensive nature than a major revision) are also accommodated, and minor editorial corrections are made as such items are identified (e.g., typographical errors, updating of website addresses).

To help users ensure they are consulting the current version of the Guidelines, we have included a version number on each document. That version number provides information about the types and number of revisions that have been made to the document. Major, interim and editorial revisions are indicated in the version number as follows: major.interim.editorial. To illustrate, for the 2013 major update, with no interim revision and to which one set of editorial corrections has been made, the version number would be reported as Version 2013.0.1. See link below for a detailed description of revisions made to the Guidelines.

The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Ediition are also available as a free download from Smashwords in a number of formats compatible with e-readers.

View AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition (PDF)

Download a higher-resolution PDF (recommended when printing the Guidelines) (PDF)

Read the Executive Summary (PDF)

View the list of revisions since the release of the 2013 Edition (PDF)

The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.-0 Unported License.

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