Animals in events

The American Animal Hospital Association’s position regarding animals in events.

The American Animal Hospital Association condemns spectator and sports events involving animals that have injury intended or likely to occur, or that cause pain or distress to the animal. Animals should be properly cared for between and after sporting and exhibition events, until they are either successfully rehomed or humanely euthanized.

AAHA encourages all organizations involved with animals used in these events to develop and follow guidelines or standards that prevent abuse and ensure humane treatment of these animals. AAHA also supports continued prospective and retrospective studies into sport-animal medicine to prevent and reduce injury for animals used in these events.

AAHA supports the humane use of animals for exhibition purposes in accordance with existing federal, state, provincial, and local animal protection laws. If animals are to be used for exhibition, every effort should be made to ensure that there is a benefit to the use of live animals as compared to alternatives such as video, models, etc. In the event that it is decided that live animals will be required, they need to be used in such a way that they are free from distress. Authorities should ensure that proper standard operating procedures are in place prior to the exhibition.

Adopted by the American Animal Hospital Association Board of Directors November 1994. Last revised March 2010.