Animal Welfare: Advocacy & Policy

This page provides visitors with access to AVMA animal welfare-related policy and advocacy tools. The AVMA establishes policy that facilitates direct support at the national and international levels for voluntary programs and responsible legislation and regulations that help ensure animals' good welfare. We also assist state veterinary medical associations with their advocacy goals at the state and local levels.


AVMA animal welfare-related policies address a wide range of topics such as physical restraint, animals used in research and teaching, housing and management practices, animal abuse and animal neglect, and euthanasia. We believe that appropriately constituted expert bodies are key to establishing responsible and effective public policy on animal welfare.

Literature Reviews

AVMA Animal Welfare Literature Reviews are science-based, peer-reviewed summaries of select topics relevant to animal health and welfare.

International Issues

In recent years the AVMA has turned to the global stage to advance its strategic goal and objectives in the area of animal welfare, and has worked hard to ensure that the U.S. veterinary profession's voice is heard in international settings. Much of this work has involved collaboration and engagement with other veterinary and scientific organizations working on an international level.

AVMA in the Global Veterinary Community

Joint AVMA-Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) Statement on the Roles of Veterinarians in Ensuring Good Animal Welfare

International Voluntary and Regulatory Animal Welfare Assurance

National (Federal) Issues

On behalf of its members, the AVMA monitors, reviews, and responds to federal legislative and regulatory proposals that impact animals' welfare and human-animal relationships. By selecting the links below you can see what issues the AVMA is currently working on, access tools for tracking bills and contacting your members of Congress, and tap into a variety of other resources to help you advocate for animals' good welfare.

Animal Welfare and Human-Animal Bond Issues in Congress

Animal Welfare and Human-Animal Bond Regulatory Proposals

Getting Involved

Legislative Action Center

State and Local Issues

The AVMA monitors developments in state governmental affairs (including state laws, regulations, and court cases) that impact animals' welfare and human-animal relationships, and provides assistance to state veterinary medical associations that ranges from research to drafting language for legislation and regulations.

State and Local Issues of Current Interest

Other Advocacy Activities

The AVMA engages with non-profit organizations, as well as academic centers and companies, as part of its advocacy on animal welfare issues. The AVMA continually reaches out to these stakeholders to encourage development of practices, policies, and standards that assure the responsible use and care of animals and promote animals' good welfare.