Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Health and Human Resources
Department of Health Professions
Board of Veterinary Medicine
Petition 316
Petition Information
Petition Title Practice of euthanasia
Date Filed 2/21/2020    [Transmittal Sheet]
Petitioner Jeffree Hudson 
Petitioner's Request

To amend regulations to require sedation of an animal to be euthanized.

Agency's Plan

The petition will be published on March 16, 2020 in the Register of Regulations and also posted on the Virginia Regulatory Townhall at to receive public comment ending April 15, 2020.

Following receipt of all comments on the petition to amend regulations, the Board will decide whether to make any changes to the regulatory language. This matter will be on the Board’s agenda for its first meeting after the comment period, which is scheduled for July 28, 2020. The petitioner will be informed of its decision after that meeting.


Comment Period Ended 4/15/2020
Agency Decision Take no action [Transmittal Sheet]    
Response Date 7/28/2020
Agency Decision Summary

The petition was published on March 16, 2020, in the Register of Regulations and also posted on the Virginia Regulatory Townhall at with public comment ending April 15, 2020. The agenda for the meeting held on July 28, 2020 included copies of all comments, as well as copies of the directive issued by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) on euthanasia and the guidelines on euthanasia from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The Board declined to amend its regulations while acknowledging that veterinarians take very seriously their responsibility to animals and their owners to reduce suffering as much as humanely possible. Veterinarians are expected to use their professional judgment in such situations.

In comment on Townhall, it was noted the VDACS directive on euthanasia. According to that agency which oversees public and private shelters, shelters are directed to sedate an animal prior to euthanasia. This directive is based on shelter euthanasia being performed by appropriately trained non-veterinarian staff who are not authorized to exercise professional judgment as to whether sedation is advisable because these individuals are not veterinarians.


Contact Information
Name / Title: Leslie L. Knachel  / Executive Director
Address: 9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Richmond, 23233
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)597-4130    FAX: (804)527-4471    TDD: ()-