American College of Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare Principles

ACAW Definition of Animal Welfare
(Adopted March 05, 2010)

Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal. Assessment of welfare includes consideration of the animal's health, behavior, and biological function.

AVMA Animal Welfare Principles

  • The responsible use of animals for human purposes, such as companionship, food, fiber, recreation, work, education, exhibition, and research conducted for the benefit of both humans and animals, is consistent with the Veterinarian's Oath.
  • Decisions regarding animal care, use, and welfare shall be made by balancing scientific knowledge and professional judgment with consideration of ethical and societal values
  • Animals must be provided water, food, proper handling, health care, and an environment appropriate to their care and use, with thoughtful consideration for their species-typical biology and behavior.
  • Animals should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, stress, and suffering.
  • Procedures related to animal housing, management, care, and use should be continuously evaluated, and when indicated, refined or replaced.
  • Conservation and management of animal populations should be humane, socially responsible, and scientifically prudent.
  • Animals shall be treated with respect and dignity throughout their lives and, when necessary, provided a humane death.
  • The veterinary profession shall continually strive to improve animal health and welfare through scientific research, education, collaboration, advocacy, and the development of legislation and regulations.

Links   

Beaver, BV: After the DVM: Specialization in Animal Welfare. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 37(1):61-63, 2010

  • Veterinarian's Role in Animal Welfare, AVMA Sept. 2011