Policies

Based on scientific evidence and significant input from AVA members and the veterinary profession.

How are policies created?
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The AVA's Policy Advisory Council develops the scientific, technical, ethical and philosophical policies of the Association.  Policies are developed through extensive member consultation and wherever possible are underpinned by evidence from the scientific literature. Note that this evidence is obtained using targeted rather than systematic literature reviews, but every effort is made to present comprehensive, balanced and unbiased content.  The policies represent the consensus view of AVA members on a range of issues of importance to the profession.

 

AVA Policies and Position Statements

 
ANIMAL WELFARE
Animal welfare principles and philosophy
  1. Animal abuse  (2013)
  2. Animal welfare societies  (2017)
  3. AVA Statement of principles – animal welfare and ethics  (2017)
  4. Philosophy on animal welfare and the veterinarian  (2010 - UNDER REVIEW)
  5. Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines  (2017)
Euthanasia
  1. Collection, euthanasia and disposal of the cane toad, Rhinella marina  (PS, 2016)
  2. Euthanasia  (2007)
  3. Euthanasia of injured wildlife  (2019)
  4. Humane slaughter of livestock  (2018 - UNDER REVIEW)
  5. Marine mammal euthanasia  (2010)
  6. Use of euthanasia drugs by non-veterinarians  (2010)
Events and exhibits involving animals
  1. Circus animals  (PS, 2011)
  2. Greyhound hurdle racing  (2008) 
  3. Greyhound muzzling  (2017)
  4. Greyhound racing  (2018)
  5. Welfare of animals used in rodeos  (2023)
  6. Use of animals in petting zoos and other displays  (2014)
  7. Welfare of animals in zoos, aquaria, sanctuaries, and animal parks  (2023)
Export of live animals
  1. Export of native birds  (2009)
  2. Live animal export  (2021)
Hunting and fishing
  1. Fish welfare  (PS, 2023)
  2. Hunting  (2016)
  3. Waterfowl hunting  (2023)
Research & teaching – use of animals
  1. Animal experimentation  (2009)
  2. Genetically modified organisms  (PS, 2010)
  3. Role of veterinarians in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes  (2023)
  4. Use of animals for teaching in veterinary schools  (2023)
Miscellaneous welfare issues - other welfare issues
  1. Genetic defects in domestic animals  (2023)
  2. Guidelines for the tethering of animals  (PS, 2008)
  3. Organic livestock farming  (2016)
USE OF VETERINARY MEDICINES, AMR
  1. Use of antimicrobial drugs in veterinary practice  (2018)
  2. Code of practice for the use of prescription animal remedies (Schedule 4 substances) in the poultry industry  (2005)
  3. Responsible use of veterinary immunobiologicals in cats and dogs  (2012)
  4. Responsible use of veterinary medicines on farms  (2010)
  5. Veterinary prescribing rights  (2018)
  6. Veterinary use of compounded pharmaceuticals  (2020)
  7. Cytotoxic drug safety – Minimising the risk to veterinary staff and clients  (2021)
  8. Guidelines - Cytotoxic drug safety – Minimising the risk to veterinary staff and clients  (2021)
 
PROFESSIONAL TOPICS
THRIVE - workplace wellness and sustainability
  1. Great veterinary workplaces (2023)
  2. Safeguarding and improving the mental health of the veterinary team  (2021)
  3. Animal welfare and human wellbeing – vulnerability of clients and veterinary staff  (2023)
  4. Equality, diversity and inclusion  (2017)
  5. Employment of new veterinary graduates  (2023)
  6. AVA clinical veterinary internship guidelines (2024)
Regulation of veterinarians and paraprofessionals
  1. Licensing of veterinarians  (2023)
  2. Regulation of animal health service providers  (2018)
  3. Restricted acts of veterinary science  (2017, UNDER REVIEW)
  4. The diagnosis and treatment of animals by non-veterinarians  (2008)
  5. Veterinary nursing  (2020)
Biosecurity and Public Health – role of veterinarians
  1. Code for infection control  (1999 - UNDER REVIEW)
  2. Emergency animal management (role of vets) (2010 - UNDER REVIEW)
  3. Engagement of private veterinary practitioners in national disease surveillance  (2019)
  4. Government veterinary services (2019)
  5. Private veterinary engagement with government veterinary services (2018)
  6. Provision of animal health (veterinary) laboratories  (2018)
  7. Quarantine and risk assessment (role of vets) (2009 - UNDER REVIEW)
  8. The role of veterinarians in the management of zoonotic disease  (2020)
  9. Australian National Centres for Disease Control (Australian CDC)  (2022)
Complementary and alternative treatments
  1. Acupuncture (PS, 2010)
  2. Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine  (PS, 2012)
  3. Promotion of ineffective therapies  (Board Resolution, 2022)
  4. Use of medicinal cannabis in animals (2023)
Identification of animals
  1. Branding of horses  (2020)
  2. Electronic identification of animals  (2016)
  3. Identification of cattle  (2009 - UNDER REVIEW)
Professional practices for veterinarians
  1. Appropriate use of post-nominals  (PS, 2023)
  2. Indigenous community animal health program (ICAHP) model and guidelines  (2012 - UNDER REVIEW)
  3. In-house diagnostic pathology and pathology referrals  (2013 - UNDER REVIEW)
  4. Q Fever protection in veterinary practice  (2018)
  5. Retention of medical records and diagnostic images  (2015)
  6. The provision of optimum veterinary services to the greyhound racing industry  (2019)
  7. The provision of optimum veterinary services to the horse racing industry  (2018)
  8. Unpaid veterinary services performed for public good (2023)
  9. Veterinary referrals and second opinions  (2023)
  10. Telemedicine practice  (2020)
Surgical, medical and other veterinary procedures - miscellaneous
  1. Cosmetic surgery to alter the natural appearance of animals (2018)
  2. Pain and analgesia  (2014)
  3. Surgical alteration of companion animals’ natural functions for human convenience   (2018)
  4. Use of projectile syringe equipment  (2011 - UNDER REVIEW)
 
POLICIES BY SPECIES / GROUPS
 
COMPANION ANIMALS (DOGS & CATS)
Companion animals - behaviour
  1. Aggression in dogs  (PS, 2008 - UNDER REVIEW)
  2. Breed-specific legislation  (2014)
  3. Puppy Socialisation  (PS, 2010 - UNDER REVIEW)
  4. Use of behaviour-modifying collars on dogs  (2022)
  5. Use of punishment and negative reinforcement in dog training  (2021)
Companion animals - commercial activities
  1. Avoiding use of dog breeds with exaggerated features in marketing  (2017)
  2. Boarding facilities including dog and cat day care centres  (2019)
  3. Companion animals in pet shops  (2013)
  4. Online advertising of dogs and cats  (2016)
  5. Pet insurance  (PS, 2015)
  6. Puppy farming  (2016)
  7. Sale of companion animals at markets  (2013)
  8. The sale of ferret kits  (2014)
Companion animals - health
  1. Anaesthesia-free dentistry in dogs and cats  (2016)
  2. Brachycephalic dog breeding  (2023)
  3. Surgical sterilisation of dogs and cats  (2022)
  4. Guidelines for dental treatment in dogs and cats  (2010 - UNDER REVIEW)
  5. Nutrition of dogs and cats  (2018)
  6. Provision of blood supplies for use in dogs and cats  (2010)
  7. Vaccination of dogs and cats  (2018)
  8. Medication of dogs and cats for air transport  (2022)
  9. Surgical artificial insemination in dogs  (2022)
Companion animals - management and welfare
  1. Animal shelters and municipal pounds  (2013)
  2. Companion animals confined to vehicles  (2015)
  3. Companion animals in aged-care accommodation  (2015)
  4. Management of cats in Australia  (2022)
  5. Selective breeding based on genetic testing of companion animals  (2015)
  6. The responsible ownership of dogs and cats and the human–animal bond  (2014)
LIVESTOCK
Cattle health and welfare
  1. Beef and sheep feedlots  (2012)
  2. Cattle spaying  (2022)
  3. Foetal bovine serum collection  (2006)
  4. Induction of parturition  (2020)
  5. Management of horned cattle species  (2015)
  6. Off-cow rearing calves  (2009 - UNDER REVIEW)
  7. Tail docking of cattle  (2012)
  8. Use of female cattle for pregnancy testing and artificial insemination schools  (2008)
  9. Welfare of vealer calves  (1997 - UNDER REVIEW)
Deer health and welfare

Management of antlers on farmed deer  (2012)

Horse health and welfare
  1. Artificial breeding of horses and related species  (2009)
  2. Castration of horses and donkeys  (2009)
  3. Distal limb neurectomy  (2011)
  4. Equine competitive events (other than jump races and rodeos)  (2014)
  5. Equine dentistry  (2008)
  6. Equine jumping races  (2008)
  7. Heat stress in the horse  (2021)
  8. Hendra virus  (2021)
  9. Racing two year old thoroughbreds  (2012)
  10. Thermocautery (firing) of horses and racing greyhounds  (2023)
  11. Transport of horses (2012)
  12. Use of horses for entertainment  (2018)
  13. Use of whips on horses at competitive events  (2022)
Pig health and welfare

Sow housing  (2013)

Poultry health and welfare
  1. Beak trimming of commercial poultry  (PS, 2010)
  2. Commercial layer hen housing systems  (2021)
Sheep and goat health and welfare
  1. Beef and sheep feedlots  (2012)
  2. Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE)  (2022)
  3. Castration of adult rams (2016)
  4. Laparoscopic artificial insemination in small ruminants  (2018)
  5. Pizzle dropping  (2017)
  6. Sheep dentistry, including tooth trimming  (2005)
  7. Surgical mulesing  (PS, 2013)
  8. Tail docking and castration of lambs and sheep  (2016)
  9. Disbudding of goat kids  (2022)
Livestock - general
  1. Electroejaculation of bulls, rams, and bucks (2024)
  2. Electroimmobilisation  (PS, 2010)
  3. Embryo collection and embryo transfer  (2010)
  4. Keeping livestock in urban and peri-urban areas  (2016)
  5. Use of analgesia for routine husbandry procedures  (2017)
UNUSUAL PETS AND AVIAN
  1. Dental guidelines for small mammals  (2010 - UNDER REVIEW)
  2. Feeding of live mammals to snakes  (2008)
  3. Feeding rabbits and guinea pigs  (2015)
  4. Myxomatosis vaccination of pet rabbits  (PS, 2014)
  5. Native animals as pets  (2015)
  6. Sale of unweaned altricial birds  (2013)
  7. Vaccination of rabbits and ferrets (2022)
WILD ANIMALS
  1. Considering welfare of target and non-target animals in planning vertebrate control programs  (2019)
  2. Control of feral horses and other equidae  (2023)
  3. Control of native and introduced animals causing damage to agriculture or habitat  (2018)
  4. Farming of native fauna (PS, 2014 - UNDER REVIEW)
  5. Harvesting and culling of native fauna (2013 - UNDER REVIEW)
  6. Kangaroo and wallaby population control  (PS, 2009 - UNDER REVIEW)
 
ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION
  1. Climate change and animal health, welfare and production  (2022)
  2. Drought and drought management  (2009 - UNDER REVIEW)
  3. Sustainable use of pastoral land  (2010 - UNDER REVIEW)
  4. Use of waste products on agricultural land  (PS, 2007 - UNDER REVIEW)
  5. Native animal welfare (habitat clearing)  (2021)