Resources

AVMA Euthanasia Guidelines – 2013

The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals have been revised and can be accessed as a PDF on AVMA.org.  An e-reader-friendly publication will also be available shortly, and a print-on-demand book is in the works.

Originally published in 1963 and updated at least once every ten years, the Guidelines are designed for use by veterinarians who carry out or oversee the euthanasia of animals. More than three years of deliberation by more than 60 individuals, including veterinarians, animal scientists, behaviorists, psychologists, and an animal ethicist, resulted in the commentary and recommendations in the 2013 edition of the Guidelines.

Changes to the Guidelines for 2013 include:

  • More breadth and depth of expertise in the affected species and environments in which euthanasia is performed
  • Expansion of previous species-specific sections
  • Euthanasia methods for invertebrates and other lower-order species
  • Recommendations regarding collection of animals for scientific investigations, euthanasia of injured or diseased wildlife, and removal of animals causing damage to property or threatening human safety
  • Additional information about the handling of animals before and during euthanasia
  • Additional information about confirmation of death and disposal of animal remains
  • Flowcharts, illustrations, tables, and appendices have been used to clarify recommendations.

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