Faculty members from the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine played a substantive role in shaping the just-released American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals.
The 2013 edition updates and considerably expands the 2007 edition and is intended for use by members of the veterinary profession who conduct or manage the euthanasia of animals. The recommendations in the publication guide veterinarians in relieving pain and suffering of animals that are to be euthanized. Veterinarians must then use professional judgment in applying the Guidelines to the various settings.
Participating CVM faculty included Dr. Laurel Degernes on the Avian Working Group, Dr. Greg Lewbart on the Reptiles, Zoo, and Wild Animals Group, Dr. Craig Harms and Dr. Michael Stoskopf on the Aquatics Group. Dr. Lewbart doing also participated on Aquatics Group, and Drs. Harms and Stoskopf also participated on the Reptiles, Zoo, and Wild Animals Group.
According to the AVMA, in addition to expanded information on species-specific euthanasia methods, the latest edition of the Guidelines includes:
- Euthanasia methods for invertebrates and other lower-order species;
- Advice on humane handling of animals before and during euthanasia;
- Information on collection of animals for scientific investigations, handling injured wild animals, and removal of animals causing property damage or threatening human safety;
- Additional information about confirmation of death and disposal of animal remains; and
- Flowcharts, illustrations, tables and appendices that clarify recommendations.
The AVMA Panel on Euthanasia first convened in 1963 to create the initial set of guidelines. The 2013 edition is the result of three years of work by a greatly expanded group of experts having diverse expertise and experience in the facets and applications of euthanasia. In addition to veterinarians, the group included animal scientists, behaviorists, psychologists, and an animal ethics expert.