Talk:American Veterinary Medical Association

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Edit note

Sections placed by SSaldeen come directly from the AVMA Web site and reflects their policies on animal welfare.

Reinstated last edit from September 17.

Large sections of referenced material were removed by user Shesaldeen from October 5 to October 15 and replaced with long section of unreferenced, unrelated and promotional material.

Lgl 10/16/09

Edit note 2

Allowing vocal cord surgery to suppress an animal's voice "as a last resort when behavioral intervention fails" is so transparent, it insults thinking people everywhere.

This position obviously enables the status quo for a risky, painful and absolutely unnecessary procedure that can be quite lucrative for vets. Tissue regrowth, which is common, and complications often require multiple surgeries. And some breeders devocalize routinely, sending their favorite vets many dogs to cut for convenience and profit.

Last resort? C'mon!

NO vet can determine whether a client has pursued all humane recourse prior to ordering devocalization.

NO vet can determine whether a client followed a trainer's or behaviorist's protocol.

NO vet can determine whether a dog is properly cared for. Persistent barking is often the result of boredom, frustration, loneliness or physical distress. It is also common among kenneled dogs.

NO vet should enable irresponsible pet ownership and breeding practices. Should dogs be punished with surgery because a breeder decided to operate his/her business near neighbors? Or because a pet owner bought the breed du jour--whose traits may include hypervocalization--and placed him in an environment where noise is not tolerated?

Fact is, devocalization does not ensure animals a secure home. They are abandoned same as any other--and may be more likely to be dumped or euthanized when bills to treat complications mount.

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and Boston's preeminent Angell Animal Medical Center oppose vocal cord surgery for any reason but medical necessity. So do more than 200 vets in Massachusetts. All have endorsed a state bill to ban devocalization.

The AVMA and its Massachusetts chapter should too. Their position on devocalization--which protects profits, not animals--is reprehensible. Used with permission, Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets


Reworded section 3.2 to clarify:

Debarking of dogs involves the surgical removal of tissue from the vocal chords and is illegal in some parts of US. [1] According to the AVMA:

"devocalization (should) only be performed by a licensed veterinarian as a final alternative after all behavior modification efforts to correct excessive barking have failed." [2]

This is a very general statement, particularly in light of the AVMAs demonstrated opposition towards humane legislation for dogs in institutionalized settings. See also section 2.1. Such dogs are deprived of opportunities for "behavior modifications" such as socialization and exercise, and are most likely to be debarked as a convenience tool. See also American Kennel Club, section 5.

I also changed the wording to "position on", rather than oppose.

Lgl 10/17/09

Edit note 3

I have moved the following to the talk page:

The AVMA and its more than 78,000 members are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at for more information.

First, the website link is already at the bottom of the page, as per usual in SW docs. Second, the purpose of SW is not simply to reiterate information and advertising contained on websites, particularly if it seems misleading, which in this case, it does. It would appear, based on actual, factual information, that the AVMA operates first and foremost as an industry lobbying group. Perhaps this was not always the case, but currently it appears to be so.

Lgl 10/19/2009

  1. Surgical Debarking, Association of Pet Dog Trainers, January 2003
  2. New AAHA position statement opposes cosmetic ear cropping, tail docking, JAVMA News, December 2003