To be admitted into the profession, all veterinarians had to take the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-approved Veterinarian's Oath that states:
"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence."
Relief of animal suffering should not only apply to animals brought in for veterinary care but all animals, as by agreeing to uphold this Oath, veterinarians are obliged to protect all animal species from suffering. With the medical skills and knowledge learned in veterinary school and through seeing various animal patients, veterinarians should understand animal health and disease better than any other profession.
Climate change has and will continue to cause animal suffering due to starvation, increased risk for tick- and other vector-borne diseases that can and will continue to spread further with warming climates, and ultimate loss of sustainable habitat.
The Oath also states that veterinarians will help conserve animal resources. Thus, veterinarians should be the primary group helping to conserve and protect the rich diversity of animal species that call this planet home.
To insist veterinarians honor their Oath, please sign this petition demanding the AVMA, an agency which represents over 91,000 veterinarians in North America, issues an unequivocal statement recognizing that climate change poses a significant and global threat to all animal species and that all efforts should be made by local, state, and federal officials to combat this health risk before more animals suffer and eventually go extinct.