CVMA responds to Euthanization of Healthy Pets article

" Healthy pets sometimes euthanized for owners' convenience: veterinary groups "

This story, published May 22, 2017 by The Canadian Press mentions that there are incidences of euthanization of healthy pets purely for their owners' convenience.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has received a number of inquiries as a follow-up to this article, as have a number of provincial veterinary medical associations/regulatory bodies and the Atlantic Veterinary College.

We understand that this ethical issue is of veterinary provincial jurisdiction. We wish to reiterate that we are a national professional association for veterinarians in Canada, but we are not a regulatory body. We are a non-profit member services organization that provides programs and services to support the profession and assist veterinarians with their careers. In Canada, the practice of veterinary medicine is regulated at the provincial level.

The CVMA does hold a position on euthanasia. Please read it here:

As well as, we have created a document titled ‘Principles of Veterinary Ethics of the CVMA’. Please view it here:

When making decisions on euthanasia, it is the responsibility of the veterinarian to assist companion animal owners to determine the suitability of treatment or euthanasia.

Because euthanasia decisions in companion animal practice can be highly emotional and stressful for the animal owner, veterinarians should strive to have conversations with the client to find the best solution for the situation. This should be done on a case by case basis. It is also the decision of the individual veterinarian to decline to euthanize a healthy animal.

As a reminder, pet ownership brings responsibility and obligation. Responsible pet owners should:

  • choose a pet that is well suited to your home and lifestyle
  • keep only the type and number of pets that you can provide for adequately
  • commit to caring for the pet for its entire lifespan
  • recognize that pet ownership requires an investment of time and money
  • be prepared to provide adequate care including preventative and emergency health care, nutrition, spay or neuter, training, exercise and mental stimulation.

For more information on owning and selecting a pet, visit:

If you have questions or concerns, or how you would like to best handle inquiries, let me know.

Tanya Frye

Manager, Communications and Public Relations / Gestionnaire, Communications et relations publiques

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association / Association canadienne des médecins vétérinaires

339, rue Booth Street, Ottawa (Ontario) K1R 7K1

t: 613-236-1162 x 128  /  800-567-2862   f: 613-236-9681   e: