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Legislative and Animal Welfare Committee - Committee Responsibilities

Legislative and Animal Welfare Committee (LAW) 

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians:

Role and Responsibilities of the LAW Committee


D.S. Miller and P. Klein 2004

Updated L. Greer 2011


Mission Statement: The AAZV Legislative/Animal Welfare Committee is concerned with a broad range of regulatory and animal welfare issues relevant to the AAZV.  The objective of this committee is to monitor animal welfare and regulatory issues that are of concern to AAZV and its Board of Directors, and provide analyses and position statements when appropriate and as directed by the Board and/or the Executive Committee.

A. Roles:


  • Liaison to AZA Animal Welfare, Animal Health, and Legislative committees and the AVMA PAC and Zoo/wildlife representative.
  • Reviewer of AAZV Wet-lab protocols for annual conference
  • Represent (Chair or delegate) AAZV at the annual (Spring) AZA legislative conference. Ensure AAZV funding for a member representative to attend and obtain conference report from the delegate.
  • Maintain communication with the Executive Committee (EC), Executive Director (ED), Chair of the Education Committee, Chair of the Information Resources Committee, and Webmaster on updated position statements, communications with outside entities, and other projects
  • Prepare annual and midyear reports (keeping a running tab during the year is recommended)
    • Include the following:

-Name of Committee
-Chair and Co-chair names and contact information
-List of charges (if any) and a brief description of progress to date
-Accomplishments to date
-Goals/objectives for the remainder of the year
-Any items that require Board input should be clearly stated
-Any requests for funds should be clearly indicated
-Please remember to acknowledge any outstanding committee members

  • Prepare newsletter submissions


B. Chair Responsibilities:


  • Keep this list updated annually
  • Select a co-chair with the intent that the co-chair will become chair after being approved by the AAZV President (usually after a 2-3 year term as co-chair)
  • Keep co-chair updated and fully informed on LAW activities to ensure continuity
    • Co-chairs are to be approved by the President of AAZV
  • Maintain committee Email list updated annually (addition and deletion requests)
  • Forward relevant information to AAZV Web master for posting on website
  • Post messages on listserv (see Section D) or other email lists when urgent or other matters require attention
  • Ensure email list of Executive Committee (EC) members is updated
  • Ensure EC are invited on to listserv for LAW committee
  • Respond to requests for assistance with issues related to the committee’s mandate
  • Develop position statements and other documents based on requests from the Executive Board or committee initiatives
    • It is important to develop documents in stages
    • Clear responses from the Executive Committee are recommended at each stage to ensure that efforts are directed appropriately
  • Monitor the Federal Register and keeping the Board informed of relevant information



C. Annual meeting duties:


  • Announce the meeting, time, and location of the annual LAW meeting at the annual conference at breaks (between sessions) to generate attendance (evening meetings seem to have the best attendance) 
    • Include student invitation
    • Post agenda, important topics for discussion
  • Prepare agenda outline on Powerpoint for introductory presentation
  • Edit statements on Powerpoint during meeting
  • Prepare minutes during meeting or after for distribution to committee members and the Executive Board
  • AV Equipment request: LCD projector, projection screen, and notepad board 
  • Establish list of attendees and their Email addresses (at meeting)


D. Official correspondence:


  • Use AAZV letter head on all official correspondence
  • Clearance/ approval by AAZV President and Executive Director
  • Must include date

Must be signed by Chair, LAW Committee and AAZV President



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