Professional Opinions

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT ANIMALS IN ENTERTAINMENT, INDUSTRY, SPORT AND RECREATION

While many critic groups continue to pass false propaganda as fact, those who use animals in entertainment, industry, sport and recreation depend on documented information compiled by experts. In all animal industries, veterinarians and behavior experts speak out on the well-being of animals that interact with humans in a number of ways.

Organizations that are members of the Animal Welfare Council are constantly monitoring animal welfare guidelines and programs to insure that all animals used are provided proper care and management.

The horse industry has been forced in recent years to deal with many animal welfare issues facing the use of equine in many different disciplines. A hot topic has included the classification of horses. There is a spirited debate between those who feel horses should be classified as livestock (which is the case in most laws on the books) or whether they should be reclassified as companion animals because some people think of their horses as pets. The American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Horse Council have released a while paper on the subject and that can be accessed at: http://www.thehorse.com/viewarticle.asp?fid=555&dpt=3&textfield=horses+as+livestock

The use of animals in rodeo is a favorite target of critic groups. The sport of rodeo employs thousands if not millions of animals who are bred specifically for rodeo competition in the various rodeo events. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) chooses to turn to the experts when answering questions regarding the care and treatment of rodeo livestock at PRCA sanctioned events. The experts are the on-site rodeo veterinarians who are required by PRCA rules to attend each rodeo performance. Surveys conducted by these independent, on-site rodeo vets have consistently shown the rate of injury to rodeo animals to be statistically negligible. To see the results of the latest survey and comments from rodeo veterinarians go to: http://www.prorodeo.com/Sport/Animals/5.injurySurvey.html

The Pregnant Mare Urine (PMU) ranching industry is one of the most highly self-regulated animal industries. To view opinions of equine veterinarians who have inspected equine ranching operations go to: http://www.naeric.org/reports_opinions.asp

The President of the American Veterinary Medical Association visited the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the Ringling Elephant Conservation Center. After his observations Dr. Howell published a commentary in the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine that stated in part, “Guidelines such as those issued by the PRCA and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus can serve as effective models for other groups and individuals using animals in entertainment.” To see the entire commentary go to:
http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jun03/030601m.asp

Animal rights activists have been promoting a campaign to change the language in many local ordinances and state laws to elevate the status of animals. This law would change wording in laws to create the title of animal “guardian” to replace animal “owner.” The American Veterinary Medical Association has taken a position that this campaign will not help animals. To read the entire position statement go to: http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jul03/030701i.asp

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