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American Veterinary Medical Association

AVMA logo

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), founded in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 85,000 U.S. veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services.[1]

The AVMA provides information resources, continuing education opportunities, publications, and discounts on personal and professional products, programs, and services. The AVMA indicates that it lobbies for animal friendly legislation within a framework that supports the use of animals for human purposes (e.g., food, fiber, research, companionship).[2]

The United States Department of Education has designated the AVMA as the accrediting body for the 28 schools of veterinary medicine in the United States. In this capacity, the AVMA develops and maintains educational standards for these institutions to ensure the qualifications and competency of graduates of veterinary schools.[3]

The AVMA publishes the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

The AVMA's veterinary student organization is the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA).


  • History 1
  • AVMA policy 2
  • Legislation 3
  • Specialists in veterinary medicine 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) was founded in 1863, when 40 delegates representing seven states met for a convention in New York. Originally named the United States Veterinary Medical Association, the USVMA was renamed the AVMA in 1889.[4]

By 1913, the AVMA consisted of 1,650 members, with membership open only to graduates of accredited veterinary schools.[4]

Today, the AVMA has more than 82,500 members engaged in a wide variety of work. In addition to treating pets, veterinarians work in a number of fields, such as public health, agriculture, food safety, academics, and the military.[1]

AVMA policy

The AVMA produces policies in response to member requests and stakeholder interest. These statements are general and aim to encourage improvement based on the best available scientific evidence.[5]

In 2005, the AVMA changed its policy on pregnant sow housing, stating that "given the number of variables and large variation in performance within both group and stall systems for pregnant sows, no one system is clearly better than others under all conditions and according to all criteria of animal welfare".[6]

The AVMA's policy was adopted after a comprehensive review by a multi-disciplinary, multi-perspective task force of experts that produced an accompanying review of housing for pregnant sows.[7]

The AVMA has voted on several proposals to take a formal stand against the forced feeding of birds to make foie gras. Although foie gras has been banned in many countries in Europe, as well as in the U.S. state of California, because of an absence of science specifically addressing the welfare aspects of foie gras production, as well as conflicting opinions among its membership, the AVMA opted not to take a stand either for or against foie gras. The AVMA has published a welfare implications of foie gras production backgrounder.[8]


AVMA supported the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2014, a law that amended the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to clarify that veterinarians are not required to have separate registrations to dispense controlled substances outside of their principal place of business, such as when treating animals on a farm.[9][10] AVMA argued that "the CSA must be amended so that our nation's animals do not suffer unnecessarily."[11] Due to an interpretation of the law by the Drug Enforcement Administration, veterinarians were not allowed to travel to their off-site animal patients with controlled substances.[12]

Specialists in veterinary medicine

A veterinary specialist, as recognized by the AVMA, is a graduate veterinarian who has successfully completed the process of board certification in an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization (ie, board or college). To become board certified, a veterinarian must have extensive post-graduate training and experience and pass a credential review and examinations set by the given specialty organization.[13]

The AVMA recognizes the following 20 veterinary specialty organizations:

  • American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
  • American Board of Veterinary Toxicology
  • American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • American College of Poultry Veterinarians
  • American College of Theriogenologists
  • American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists
  • American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
  • American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology
  • American College of Veterinary Dermatology
  • American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
  • American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
  • American College of Veterinary Microbiologists
  • American College of Veterinary Nutrition
  • American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
  • American College of Veterinary Pathologists
  • American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
  • American College of Veterinary Radiology
  • American College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • American College of Zoological Medicine
  • American Veterinary Dental College


  1. ^ a b "About the AVMA". Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  2. ^ "AVMA Animal Welfare Positions". Archived from the original on 6 April 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-06. 
  3. ^ "Accreditation in the United States". Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  4. ^ a b "History of the AVMA". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  5. ^ "AVMA Animal Welfare Policies". Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  6. ^ "AVMA policy on pregnant sow housing". Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  7. ^ "A comprehensive review of housing for pregnant sows". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  8. ^ "Welfare implications for foie gras production". Archived from the original on 25 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  9. ^ "H.R. 1528 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "CBO - H.R. 1528". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Tell Congress to Pass the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act". American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "AAVMC Programs & Initiatives". Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Veterinary Specialty Organizations". Archived from the original on 1 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-06. 

External links

  • Official Web site
  • Web siteJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Web siteAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research

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