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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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
By 1913, the AVMA consisted of 1,650 members, with membership open only to graduates of accredited veterinary schools.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
AVMA supported the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2014 (H.R. 1528; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend 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. AVMA argued that "the CSA must be amended so that our nation's animals do not suffer unnecessarily." Due to an interpretation of the law by the Drug Enforcement Agency, veterinarians were not allowed to travel to their off-site animal patients with controlled substances.
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.
The AVMA recognizes the following 20 veterinary specialty organizations: