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2013 AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia

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These guidelines are intended for use by members of the veterinary profession who carry out or oversee the euthanasia of animals. Although the guidelines may be interpreted and understood by a broad segment of the general population, a veterinarian should be consulted in the application of these recommendations. The practice of veterinary medicine is complex and involves diverse animal species. Whenever possible, a veterinarian experienced with the species in question should be consulted when selecting the method of euthanasia, particularly when little species-specific euthanasia research has been done. Although interpretation and use of this report cannot be limited, the AVMA's overriding commitment is to give veterinarians guidance in relieving pain and suffering of animals that are to be euthanatized. The recommendations in these guidelines are intended to serve as guidance for veterinarians who must then use professional judgment in applying them to the various settings where animals are to be euthanatized.