The California Veterinary Medical Association’s
Eight Principles of Animal Care and Use
As veterinarians, we endorse the following eight principles founded on our education, experience, commitment to and compassion for animals:
1. Animals are sentient beings with wants and needs that may differ from those of humans and are worthy of respect from individuals and society.
2. Animals’ interests should be given thoughtful consideration by individuals and society when determining acceptable care and use. This requires the balancing of scientific knowledge and ethical, philosophical, and moral values.
3. Acceptable care and use of an animal may not always serve the individual animal, but should be balanced by the greater benefits to other animals, humans, or society.
4. Animals should be used purposefully, whether for food and fiber, recreation, companionship, transportation, work, education, or the advancement of scientific knowledge.
5. Animals should be provided with water, nutrition, and an environment appropriate to their care and use, with consideration for their safety, health, and species-specific biological needs and behavioral natures.
6. Animals should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, suffering, and distress.
7. Through an owner’s actions, animals should be provided with timely and appropriate preventive, medical, dental, and surgical care, and an effort should be made to ensure that animals reproduce responsibly.
8. Animals should be provided a humane death.