It's up to the scientific veterinary community to help shape the policies of animal care/welfare and the veterinary profession.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) currently has nine animal welfare policies that are open for comments by AVMA members. Comments are due by March 1, 2012. You can view those policies that are open for comment, and their descriptions/backgrounds here.
The policies cover a wide variety of issues including animal fighting, physical restraint of animals and animals used in research, testing and education.
In addition, AVMA currently has under review several animal health policies including animal welfare principles, housing of pregnant sows, pain in animals and AVMA guidelines on euthanasia. You can read a description of those policies here.
For more information, visit the AVMA.