Conservation of wildlife

The AVMA recognizes the vital role of wildlife in the human-animal-environment complex and that wildlife conservation is most effectively addressed with a One Health approach. Such an integrated approach for the conservation of wildlife and native habitats promotes biodiversity and species preservation, sustainable and resilient populations, and healthy wildlife, domestic animals, humans, and ecosystems. The AVMA supports policies that address wildlife trade, habitat preservation, protection of endangered species, and sustainable natural resource management, as described below.

The illegal trade of wildlife, also known as wildlife trafficking, is a significant global threat to wild animal populations and their health and native habitats. With the majority of emerging human infectious diseases originating in wild animals, the threats from wildlife trafficking and disease transmission are amplified. The AVMA also recognizes that people worldwide rely on wildlife for food. The AVMA supports regulations that allow only the legal and sustainable harvest and trade of wildlife, protect wildlife populations and species, and address conservation and public health concerns.

When conservation solely in native habitats is not possible, the AVMA supports state and federal captive breeding programs, along with accredited programs, that prioritize animal conservation and welfare while considering public health and safety.

The AVMA supports the Endangered Species Act (ESA) along with research and science-based evidence for ESA listing, management, and delisting of species. The AVMA also supports modifications of the ESA or policies regarding its enforcement that promote good stewardship practices, encourage landowners to protect sensitive species and habitats, and promote sustainable management of natural resources.

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