In a Web site blog posted Aug. 19, Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle criticized the policies of the American Veterinary Medical Association and questions AVMA members’ commitment to the Veterinarian’s Oath

“The HSUS doesn’t shrink from its responsibility to take on industries that cause or defend animal abuse…but it’s startling when we have to call out groups that should stand in the forefront of animal protection but are part of the problem when it comes to the mistreatment of animals,” says Pacelle.

“That is, sadly, the case with the American Veterinary Medical Association…. it’s been our experience that AVMA policies are out of step with a large share of veterinarians and the organization typically takes unfriendly positions on many of the major animal welfare questions of the day.” Read Pacelle’s full blog.

Earlier this week, Ron DeHaven, DVM, CEO of the AVMA, expressed concerns about last year’s Pew Commission Report and urged U.S. House of Representatives members to vote against H.R. 1549 and S. 619, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act as they are written. See report on Porkmag.

In response to the HSUS blog, DeHaven said: “Once again, Mr. Pacelle has resorted to misleading statements. His attempt to paint the AVMA and veterinarians in a negative light is little more than an attempt to raise more money for his organization. Veterinarians choose their careers because they care about animals. At the same time, veterinarians understand that, when it comes to animal welfare, a knee-jerk response based solely on emotion, not science, might not be in the best interest of animals.

"For example, the AVMA's stance against a ban on horse processing in the United States was not taken because we are ‘pro-slaughter,’ but because we know there is a large population of unwanted horses in this country, and feared what would happen if those horses couldn't be humanely euthanized in a regulated environment. Unfortunately, our fears have come true and have been made worse by the current economic climate. Large numbers of horses are being abandoned and left to starve across the country. Mr. Pacelle's stance has only increased the suffering of horses in the United States.

"Mr. Pacelle is ignoring the legitimate concerns of animal welfare scientists and veterinarians, and misleading the American public to further his organization's agenda,” continued DeHaven. “If he truly cared about the welfare of animals, he would not be so quick to criticize and minimize the input of veterinary experts."

Sources: HSUS blog; Bovine Veterinarian