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AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals
Source: | Author:LAT Science | Published time: 2020-06-05 | 504 Views | Share:
Animal issues are no longer socially invisible. During the past half-century, efforts to ensure the respectful and humane treatment of animals have garnered global attention.1,2 Concern for the welfare of animals is reflected in the growth of animal welfare science and ethics.

Animal issues are no longer socially invisible. During the past half-century, efforts to ensure the respectful and humane treatment of animals have garnered global attention.1,2 Concern for the welfare of animals is reflected in the growth of animal welfare science and ethics. The former is evident in the emergence of academic programs, scientific journals, and funding streams committed either partially or exclusively to the study of how animals are impacted by various environments and human interventions. The latter has seen the application of numerous ethical approaches (eg, rights-based theories, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, contractarianism, pragmatic ethics) to assessing the moral value of animals and the nature of the human-animal relationship.1,3–9 The proliferation of interest in animal use and care, at the national and international levels, is also apparent in recent protections accorded to animals in new and amended laws and regulations, institutional and corporate policies, and purchasing and trade agreements. Changing societal attitudes toward animal care and use have inspired scrutiny of some traditional and 
contemporary practices applied in the management of animals used for agriculture, research and teaching, companionship, and recreation or entertainment and 
of animals encountered in the wild. Attention has also been focused on conservation and the impact of human interventions on terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and the 
environment. Within these contexts, stakeholders look to veterinarians to provide leadership on how to care well for animals, including how to relieve unnecessary 
pain and suffering.In creating the 2013 edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals (Guidelines), the Panel on Euthanasia (POE) made every effort to identify and apply the best research and empirical information available. As new research is conducted and more practical experience gained, recommended methods 
of euthanasia may change. As such, the AVMA and its POE have made a commitment to ensure the Guidelines reflect an expectation and paradigm of continuous 
improvement that is consistent with the obligations of the Veterinarian’s Oath.10 As for other editions of the document, modifications of previous recommendations 
are also informed by continued professional and public sensitivity to the ethical care of animals.While some euthanasia methods may be utilized in slaughter and depopulation, recommendations related to humane slaughter and depopulation fall outside the purview of the Guidelines and will be addressed by separate documents that are under development.The Guidelines set criteria for euthanasia, specify appropriate euthanasia methods and agents, and are intended to assist veterinarians in their exercise of professional judgment. The Guidelines acknowledge that euthanasia is a process involving more than just what happens to an animal at the time of its death. Apart from delineating appropriate methods and agents, these Guidelines also recognize the importance of considering and applying appropriate preuthanasia (eg, sedation) and animal handling practices, as well as attention to disposal of animals’ remains.