PVMA Position Statements
Definition of a Pet|
Approved by the Board of Trustees on August 11, 2005
Pet shall mean:
A domesticated animal that has been bought, bred, raised or
otherwise acquired and maintained in accordance with local, state and federal
laws for the primary purpose of providing companionship and/or enjoyment to the
owner. The owner must show that the animal has received adequate care including,
but not limited to: food, shelter, space, water, light, ventilation, sanitation,
exercise, and veterinary care as required to prevent illnesses and maintain the
health of the animal; thus illustrating that the owner manifests a clear concern
for the animal’s health, safety, and welfare.
Companionship and/or enjoyment
includes substantial evidence of an existing “human-animal bond” with the owner.
To establish the existence of this “human-animal bond,” the owner must
demonstrate a strong and continuous relationship between the owner and the
animal, including, but not limited to, most of the following criteria:
For the purposes
hereof, Pet shall not include animals used for the sole purpose of food, fiber,
agriculture, biomedical production, research, teaching, or testing; or in a
for-profit venture; wildlife as defined by any state or federal statute; or
animals used in activities regulated by the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C.
2131 to 2159).
- A name that has been consistently used and known to those in regular contact with the animal;
- Clear and convincing evidence of regular contact and interaction with the owner appropriate for the species;
- A consistent showing of a positive emotional attachment to the animal;
- Service and/or assistance to a human with the day-to-day requirements of independent living;
- and/orActivities and efforts that demonstrate a unique personal attachment to the animal.
Position Statement on Owner vs. Guardian
Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical
Association on March 9, 2005
The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association is dedicated to the advancement
of animal welfare and the human-animal bond. We support the current legal
standing of animals as the property of their owners. We oppose the use of the
term “guardian” to describe these parties. Guardian is a well-defined legal term
that is not appropriate in describing the relationship between owners and their
animals. We believe such a change could ultimately lead to excessive
interference by third parties or governmental officials who impose their views
on responsible animal owners. We believe that such interference with traditional
property rights will impair the ability of animal shelters and humane
associations to function effectively with available financial and human
resources. The traditional ownership relationship confers property rights on
owners that ensure their personal control over appropriate financial and medical
decisions regarding the well-being of their animals. Lastly, the current status
of animals is critical to allow the legal imposition of measures for control of
infectious diseases to protect the public health and safety. Therefore, we
believe a change in terms from “owner” to “guardian” would ultimately have a
negative effect on animal welfare, animal care givers, and on society.
Statement on Pets as Property
Approved by the Board of Trustees of the
Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Associationon March 9, 2005
Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) is dedicated to the advancement of animal
welfare and we feel very strongly that animals are not property in the same way
that tables, lamps, or cars are property. We further believe that owners should
be allowed to prove that pet animals have economic values above their purchase
price or fair market value. Because of current common law precedents,
legislative changes most likely will be necessary to allow for expansion of
these economic values. We further believe that an appropriate definition of a
pet must be developed prior to any changes or expansions in the laws on damages
for pet loss. In our search of PA law and the laws of other states, we have been
unable to find an adequate definition for a “pet” or “companion animal” that
would allow us to reach a consensus on the subject of pets as property. PVMA is
developing a definition and welcomes comments from all interested parties.
Position Statement on Non-Economic Damages
Approved by the Board of Trustees of
the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association on March 9, 2005
Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association is dedicated to the advancement of
animal welfare. We support the resolution drafted by the Council of State
Governments and adopted by their governing board in September 2004. We do not
support any legislation that would elevate the rights of animals above the
rights of people.
Endorsement and Expansion of the AAEP Position Statement on
Therapeutic Medications in Non-Racing Performance Horses
Approved by the Board
of Trustees, Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association January 27, 2007
Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) endorses and expands the
American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) Position Statement on
Therapeutic Medications in Non-Racing Performance Horses (2002). Three specific
areas of emphasis modify the position statement and make it more applicable to
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The intent is to make the statement applicable
to a wider population of equines, veterinary practitioners, and the participants
in equine activities.
The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical
Association (PVMA) strives to educate the public and the veterinary profession
on this important issue and supports the development of laws and regulations to
enhance application of the principles in this position statement.
- All equines in all aspects of interaction with humans are
included in our Association’s interpretation of ethical use of therapeutic
medications. Established guidelines would apply to competition and performance
horses as well as to privately-owned animals stabled in a home barn or used for
lesson, recreational or any other purposes.
- All licensed veterinary
practitioners, regardless of membership affiliation or species orientation, are
strongly encouraged to promote the ethical and professional guidelines set forth
in the position statement.
- A veterinary-client-patient relationship, as defined
in the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act of December 2002, shall exist before any
prescription or off-label medication is administered or dispensed for any
purpose. The health and safety of the patient and any persons in contact with
the patient are priority concerns.
Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) position on therapeutic medications
in non-racing performance horses, which reads as follows:
of Equine Practitioners’ Position Statementon Therapeutic Medications in
Non-Racing Performance Horses
The AAEP policy on medication in non-racing
performance horses is driven by our mission to improve the health and welfare of
the horse. It is aimed at providing the best health care possible for horses
competing under the current rules in various disciplines while ensuring the
integrity of the sport. The AAEP expects its members to abide by the rules of
all jurisdictions where they practice. The AAEP condemns the administration of
non-therapeutic or unprescribed medications to performance horses by anyone. The
AAEP believes that all therapeutic medication should be administered to
performance horses by or under the direction of a licensed veterinarian. Health
care decisions on individual horses involve the veterinarian, the trainer and
the owner with the best interests of the horse as the primary objective.
AAEP strongly encourages continued research in determining the therapeutic
levels and appropriate withdrawal times that represent responsible use of
medication in the competing horse. The AAEP is aware of the dynamics of the
development of new products, as well as the continuing evaluation of current
medications, and will continue to evaluate its policy based upon available
scientific research and the best interests of the horse.
In order to provide the
best health care possible for the performance horse, veterinarians should
utilize the most appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic modalities in accordance
with medication guidelines of the sport. To this end, the following are the
essential elements of the AAEP policy concerning veterinary care of the
- It is recognized that various performance horse disciplines
have differing regulations concerning medication guidelines. The AAEP urges
members to abide by these regulations and to work with the governing bodies to
develop and enforce such regulations. The establishment of guidelines backed by
testing procedures with strict quality controls should be the goal to protect
the well being of the horse and the integrity of the sport
- The AAEP encourages
proactive and constructive communication between regulatory bodies, practicing
veterinarians and other industry stakeholders. The AAEP offers its expertise to
all performance horse organizations for assistance in establishing medication
guidelines for their respective disciplines.
- The use of medications for the
purpose of stimulating, depressing or numbing a horse at the time of competition
should be forbidden. It is recognized that some governing bodies allow for the
emergency use of local anesthetics for strictly medical purposes within the
normal withdrawal time for such agents. Such procedures must be very closely
- Products present in a horse at the time of performance that have been
proven to interfere with accurate and effective post-performance testing should
be strictly forbidden.
- The AAEP endorses the use of quality-controlled testing
procedures by all performance horse organizations. Detection of
pharmacologically insignificant levels of therapeutic medications should not
constitute a violation of medication rules.
- Governing organizations have
developed guidelines for the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents in
their sports. It is the opinion of the AAEP that the use of multiple NSAID
agents is not in the best interest of the health and welfare of the horse.
Performance horse governing bodies are encouraged to regularly reevaluate their
regulations in light of this recommendation.
- The AAEP believes that all
veterinarians should follow a judicious, prudent and ethical decision-making
process.The AAEP endorses increased surveillance and enforcement of the