Veterinarian's Oath Revised to Stress Importance of Animal Welfare

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has revised the Veterinarian's Oath--which all graduates of U.S. veterinary schools take--to stress the importance of animal welfare.

The revision, approved by the AVMA executive board at its meeting this month, is as follows: "Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge."

"The Veterinarian's Oath reflects every veterinarian's aspirations for themselves and the veterinary profession," says Bruce Nixon, DVM, chair-elect of the Animal Welfare Committee. "It's a promise that each veterinarian makes at graduation, so these words have tremendous meaning. The Animal Welfare Committee recommended these changes to emphasize that veterinarians have responsibilities not only to animal health but also to animal welfare."

"These changes make it clear that the scope of veterinarians' efforts toward improving animal welfare include not only treatment, but also prevention of suffering and promotion of good welfare, which is consistent with today's approach to veterinary practice," adds Gail Golab, PhD, DVM, director of the AVMA's Animal Welfare Division.

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