Leading Efforts to Promote and Protect Animal Welfare

The AAVMC recognizes the important role animals play in the education of veterinarians whether in their initial professional training, subsequent advanced study for a clinical specialty and/or a graduate degree, and “wet labs” offered by continuing education programs.  Animals likewise play a necessary role in the training of veterinary technicians and non-veterinarian graduate students.

 In 2009, the AAVMC partnered with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to host the Joint International Symposium on Animal Welfare.  The symposium allowed veterinarians, educators, researchers, students, and others interested in animal welfare education and research to learn from and network with other experts.

At the symposium, participants agreed that veterinarians are key to protecting animal well-being because of the important role they play as intermediaries among animals, their owners, and the public.  Learn more about the issues presented at the symposium in this special animal welfare edition of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, available for free online.

In response to the need for educators to teach clear animal welfare standards and practices, the AAVMC began collaborating with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on Development of Animal Welfare Curriculum for colleges and schools of veterinary medicine.

Additionally, the AAVMC and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed a model curriculum for veterinary students that outlines the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the primary federal legislation pertaining to animal welfare.  The broad objective of this project was to address the veterinarian’s role in providing leadership and guidance in animal welfare in accordance with the AWA. 

Five specific objectives were outlined for the model curriculum:
  1. To define the role of the veterinarian as an expert in animal welfare, and in promulgation of specific aspects of the AWA
  2. To develop a fact-based, balanced presentation of historical and current practices pertaining to use of animals in veterinary medical education, research, and exhibition
  3. To provide an overview for understanding the content of the AWA regulations
  4. To incorporate case presentations as illustrations of relevance
  5. To develop a list of available resources for further training in this subject area

This training contains video clips with relevant interview segments with animal welfare experts, and case studies.

A range of perspectives and opinions exist around animal welfare issues—therefore, a spectrum of animal welfare and activist organizations are included in the AWA Training Modules.

To obtain copies of the training modules, call the AAVMC at 202-371-9195.