We all know that it takes a team to ensure the health of our animals. Regardless of where we might work, none of us can do it alone. The same applies to our country and the millions of animals here. We are all part of the team, and we play an essential role in keeping our animals, our food supply and our people safe and healthy.
Chances are good that, as an accredited veterinarian, you’re already part of a special team through the National Veterinary Accreditation Program. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that about 71,000 veterinarians across the country are part of the program.
Well, in order to keep that accreditation, you’ll need to reapply by Aug. 2, 2010. Why? Because the federal government has made changes in the accreditation program to address the needs of the increasingly complex and fast-paced world of animal health, business, trade and travel. And, if you wish to maintain your accreditation down the road, you’ll need to pursue continuing education and request a renewal every three years.
Almost a decade ago, in the spring of 2002, the AVMA and the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service knew that the National Veterinary Accreditation Program needed modernizing if this country was going to be able to ensure that accredited veterinarians had the tools needed to meet the challenges of disease prevention and emergency preparedness.
It took a while for regulations to be developed and finalized, but the USDA recently announced the specifics of the program and what veterinarians need to do to remain accredited. AVMA leadership and members of our Scientific Activities Division played a central role in the process, and we continue to work closely with the USDA to make sure that the program is implemented smoothly.
Private practice veterinarians in the program play a critical role. Our country depends extensively on accredited veterinarians like you to carry out many of its animal health programs and services, including animal inspections, testing and certifications in both livestock and companion animals.
While the new requirements will mean some effort on your part, we believe that the new program will go a long way toward making our first line of animal health defense even stronger.