Assess COVID-19 vaccine uptake among veterinarians and describe unvaccinated veterinarians’ perceptions of COVID-19 disease and vaccines.
2,721 (14%) of 19,654 randomly sampled AVMA members.
A survey of AVMA members was conducted between June 8 and June 18, 2021. Information was collected on COVID-19 experience, vaccination intention, and perceptions of COVID-19 disease and vaccines.
A total of 2,721 AVMA members completed the survey. Most respondents reported receiving a COVID-19 vaccine (89% [2,428/2,721]). Most unvaccinated respondents disagreed with concerns about contracting (67% [196/292]) or being harmed by (65% [187/287]) COVID-19 but agreed with concerns about short- (79% [228/290]) and long-term (89% [258/289]) side effects of COVID-19 vaccines. Over 91% (268/292) did not agree that COVID-19 vaccine benefits outweigh the risk. Although 83% (244/293) of unvaccinated respondents reported being unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine, 47% (137/291) agreed they would be more likely if they knew people vaccinated without serious side effects. Perceptions of COVID-19 disease severity and susceptibility, beliefs about COVID-19 vaccine benefits, and barriers and facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination varied with vaccination intention.
Results of the AVMA survey suggested that COVID-19 vaccination was widespread among veterinarians in June 2021. Understanding unvaccinated respondents’ health beliefs about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines may facilitate veterinarian vaccination participation. Veterinarians who abstained from COVID-19 vaccination cited concerns about the safety, efficacy, and necessity of COVID-19 vaccines. Our results suggested that demonstrating vaccine safety and a favorable risk-to-benefit ratio of vaccination may help reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among veterinarians.
Objective—To summarize breeds of dogs involved in
fatal human attacks during a 20-year period and to
assess policy implications.
Animals—Dogs for which breed was reported involved
in attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998 that
resulted in human dog bite-related fatalities (DBRF).
Procedure—Data for human DBRF identified previously
for the period of 1979 through 1996 were combined
with human DBRF newly identified for 1997
and 1998. Human DBRF were identified by searching
news accounts and by use of The Humane Society of
the United States' registry databank.
Results—During 1997 and 1998, at least 27 people died
of dog bite attacks (18 in 1997 and 9 in 1998). At least
25 breeds of dogs have been involved in 238 human
DBRF during the past 20 years. Pit bull-type dogs and
Rottweilers were involved in more than half of these
deaths. Of 227 reports with relevant data, 55 (24%)
human deaths involved unrestrained dogs off their owners'
property, 133 (58%) involved unrestrained dogs on
their owners' property, 38 (17%) involved restrained
dogs on their owners' property, and 1 (< 1%) involved a
restrained dog off its owner's property.
Conclusions—Although fatal attacks on humans
appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type
dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and
cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties
inherent in determining a dog's breed with certainty,
enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional
and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent
a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and,
therefore, should not be the primary factor driving
public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical
alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and
hold promise for prevention of dog bites. (J Am Vet
Med Assoc 2000;217:836–840)
Sodium pentobarbital and pentobarbital combination products are commonly used by veterinarians throughout the US for euthanasia of their animal patients. The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition lists barbiturate acid derivatives (pentobarbital) and pentobarbital combination products as an acceptable method of euthanasia for all species when circumstances permit their use. When using pentobarbital products, a veterinarian must consider appropriate handling and disposal of animal remains to avoid the potential for environmental contamination, relay toxicosis in wildlife or domestic animals, and contamination of the animal food supply. Failure to appropriately consider these facets of pentobarbital euthanasia can result in legal and ethical consequences. Despite these concerns, to the authors’ knowledge no comprehensive literature review has been published concerning pentobarbital euthanasia or handling and disposal of animal remains following pentobarbital euthanasia. The literature review that follows aims to give a descriptive narrative of the most recent information available on the knowledge, use, challenges, and issues surrounding pentobarbital euthanasia and disposal of animal remains within the US.
To assess (1) veterinarians’ knowledge and practices regarding disposal of euthanized animals, (2) the extent to which veterinarians communicate with their clients about potential risks of rendering pentobarbital-euthanized animals, and (3) the extent to which veterinarians communicate potential relay toxicosis and environmental risks of pentobarbital-euthanized animals to clients.
A stratified random sample of AVMA members.
Over a 3-week period in early 2021, 16,831 of the AVMA’s 99,500 members were surveyed, with 2,093 responses (a 12% response rate). Respondents were assigned to 1 of 3 categories on the basis of their answers: veterinarians euthanizing only food-producing species, veterinarians euthanizing only non–food-producing species, and veterinarians euthanizing both food-producing and non–food-producing species (ie, veterinarians euthanizing mixed species).
Veterinarians responding to this survey appeared to be aware of the major methods of animal disposal, and about 89% reported communicating the method of euthanasia with clients to help ensure appropriate animal disposal. However, the need for additional education on local, state, and federal laws and rendering, as well as on risks of relay toxicosis including wildlife predation and environmental impacts, was reported.
Survey results identified gaps in veterinarians’ knowledge regarding animal disposal following pentobarbital euthanasia. Further education on this topic may be beneficial, particularly for early- and midcareer veterinarians who euthanize non–food-producing species and for veterinarians who euthanize mixed species in urban and suburban communities.