Sentient beings

American Animal Hospital Association’s position regarding animals as sentient beings.

The American Animal Hospital Association supports the concept of animals as sentient beings. Sentiency is the ability to feel, perceive or be conscious, or to have subjective experiences. Biological science and common sense support the fact that the animals who share our lives are feeling, sensing beings that deserve thoughtful, high-quality care. The care that is offered should provide for the animal’s physical and behavioral welfare and strive to minimize pain, distress, and suffering for the animal.

Adopted by the American Animal Hospital Association Board of Directors July 2012.

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