The AVMA guidelines for the euthanasia of animals are intended for use by members of the veterinary profession who carry out or oversee the euthanasia of animals. The overriding commitment of these guidelines is to provide veterinarians guidance in relieving pain and suffering of animals that are to be euthanized.
The recommendations in the guidelines are intended to guide veterinarians, who must then use professional judgment in applying them to the various settings where animals are to be euthanized.
The AVMA Panel on Euthanasia develops the content of the guidelines, with support from its working groups. The panel is required to do a comprehensive review and update of the report at least every ten years, although more frequent major revisions are possible based on substantive information gleaned from new research and experience with practical implementation. To ensure the guidelines remain as up-to-date as possible, interim revisions (reflecting substantive updates, but of a less extensive nature than a major revision) are also accommodated, and minor editorial corrections are made as such items are identified (e.g., typographical errors, updating of website addresses).