Animal welfare is a common term that may not always be fully understood, writes Michigan State University Extension official Melissa Elischer. According to the AVMA, ensuring animal welfare is "a human responsibility that includes consideration for all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia." That statement as well as one espoused by the World Organization for Animal Health are rooted in a seminal document published in 1965 that serves as the basis for modern welfare standards.

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