American Veterinary Medical Association

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The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), founded in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 89,000[1] U.S. veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services.[2]

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).[3]

The United States Department of Education has designated the AVMA as the accrediting body for the 30[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

By 1913, the AVMA consisted of 1,650 members, with membership open only to graduates of accredited veterinary schools.[6]

Today, the AVMA has more than 89,000 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.[2]

AVMA policy[edit]

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.[7]

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".[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]


AVMA supported the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2014, a law that amended 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.[11][12] AVMA argued that "the CSA must be amended so that our nation's animals do not suffer unnecessarily."[13] Due to an interpretation of the law by the Drug Enforcement Administration, veterinarians were not allowed to travel to their off-site animal patients with controlled substances.[14]

Academic Accreditation[edit]

Two bodies within AVMA are responsible for veterinary education accreditation: the AVMA Council on Education (COE) and the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). The former is responsible for accreditation of veterinary colleges and the latter veterinary technology programs.[15]

AVMA Accredited Veterinary Colleges[edit]

The following colleges are accredited by the AVMA:[4]

School State/Province or City Country
Auburn University Alabama United States
Tuskegee University (probationary, 2013) Alabama United States
Midwestern University (provisional, 2013) Arizona United States
University of California California United States
Western University of Health Sciences (minor deficiency, 2012) California United States
Université de Montréal Quebec Canada
University of Calgary Alberta Canada
University of Guelph Ontario Canada
University of Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island Canada
University of Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Canada
Colorado State University Colorado United States
University of Florida Florida United States
Murdoch University Western Australia
University of Melbourne VIC Australia
University of Sydney NSW Australia
University of Queensland QLD Australia
University of London London England
VetAgro Sup Marcy l'Etoile France
University College Dublin Dublin Ireland
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México Federal District Mexico
Massey University Palmerston North New Zealand
The University of Edinburgh Edinburgh Scotland
University of Glasgow Glasgow Scotland
State University of Utrecht (minor deficiency, 2014) Utrecht The Netherlands
Ross University St Kitts West Indies
St. George's University (minor deficiency, 2011) Grenada West Indies
University of Florida Florida United States
University of Georgia Georgia United States
University of Illinois Illinois United States
Purdue University Indiana United States
Iowa State University Iowa United States
Kansas State University Kansas United States
Louisiana State University Louisiana United States
Tufts University Massachusetts United States
Michigan State University Michigan United States
University of Minnesota (minor deficiency, 2014) Minnesota United States
Mississippi State University Mississippi United States
University of Missouri-Columbia Missouri United States
Cornell University New York United States
North Carolina State University North Carolina United States
The Ohio State University Ohio United States
Oklahoma State University Oklahoma United States
Oregon State University Oregon United States
University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania United States
University of Tennessee Tennessee United States
Lincoln Memorial University (provisional, 2015) Tennessee United States
Texas A&M University Texas United States
Virginia Tech Virginia United States
Washington State University (minor deficiency, 2010) Washington United States
University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin United States

AVMA Accredited Veterinary Technology Programs[edit]

The AVMA accredits veterinary technician programs in all U.S. states except for Arkansas, Montana, and Washington D.C. It also accredits one program in Canada and a number of distance learning programs.[16]

Specialists in veterinary medicine[edit]

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.[17]

The AVMA recognizes the following 20 veterinary specialty organizations:

With these 40 distinct specialties:[18]

  • Anesthesiology and Analgesia
  • Animal Welfare
  • Avian Practice
  • Bacteriology\Mycology
  • Beef Cattle Practice
  • Behavior
  • Canine and Feline Practice
  • Canine Practice
  • Cardiology
  • Critical Care
  • Dairy Practice
  • Dentistry
  • Dermatology
  • Epidemiology
  • Equine Practice
  • Feline Practice
  • Food Animal Practice
  • Immunology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • Microbiology
  • Neurology
  • Nutrition
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Parasitology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Poultry
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Radiology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Surgery
  • Swine Health Management
  • Toxicology
  • Virology
  • Zoological Medicine


  1. ^ "Who We Are". 
  2. ^ a b "About the AVMA". Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  3. ^ "AVMA Animal Welfare Policy Statements". Archived from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Accredited Veterinary Colleges". AVMA. American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Accreditation in the United States". Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  6. ^ a b "History of the AVMA". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  7. ^ "AVMA Animal Welfare Policies". Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  8. ^ "AVMA policy on pregnant sow housing". Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  9. ^ "A comprehensive review of housing for pregnant sows" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  10. ^ "Welfare implications for foie gras production". Archived from the original on 25 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  11. ^ "H.R. 1528 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "CBO - H.R. 1528". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Tell Congress to Pass the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act". American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "AAVMC Programs & Initiatives". Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "AVMA Center for Veterinary Education Accreditation". American Veterinary Medical Association. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  16. ^ "Veterinary Technology Programs Accredited by the AVMA CVTEA". American Veterinary Medical Association. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  17. ^ "Veterinary Specialty Organizations". Archived from the original on 1 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-06. 
  18. ^ "ABVS - Recognized Veterinary Specialty Organizations". American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 

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