The AVMA House of Delegates held its Winter Session today, discussing and taking action on 6 proposed resolutions and 1 proposed bylaws amendment. For more in-depth coverage, look for upcoming articles in JAVMA News. For the time being, here’s a summary of the meeting outcomes.
Resolution 1 proposed an amendment to the House of Delegates Manual to remove designated professional category requirements from membership in the House Advisory Committee (HAC), and instead make all HAC positions at-large, with no more than one representative from the same state or allied group on the committee. This resolution was approved with a majority vote of 56% in support of approval.
Resolution 2 proposed revision of the definition of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship. This resolution was approved with 70.9% of delegates supporting approval.
Resolution 3 proposed a policy stating that homeopathy is an ineffective practice and that its use as a veterinary therapy be discouraged. The HOD voted (77.6% in support of referral) to refer the resolution to the Executive Board with a recommendation that the Board refer it to the Council on Veterinary Service, which is the AVMA entity charged with oversight of our existing policy on Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine. More details have been provided in a separate blog post.
Resolution 4 proposed revisions to the existing policy on canine devocalization. This resolution was approved by a majority vote of 99.3% in support of approval.
Resolution 5 proposed a new policy on livestock handling tools. The HOD’s original vote was on the reference committee’s motion to refer to the Executive Board with a recommendation to refer it back to the Animal Welfare Committee (which originated the proposed policy), and that did not pass (with 50.1% of delegates opposing referral). According to my notes there were 6 proposed amendments to the resolution, but I honestly couldn’t keep track of all of the proposed revisions and which ones were and weren’t approved. The amended resolution was approved with a vote of 86.6% in support of approval. Below is the Livestock Handling Tools policy (submitted as Resolution 5-2013) as amended and approved by the AVMA House of Delegates during the 2013 Winter Session on January 5, 2013. (To read the resolution as originally submitted, click on the “Resolution 5” link at the beginning of this paragraph.)
The AVMA believes that mechanical aids to direct livestock movement should be used properly. Use of these aids should be secondary to good facility design and an understanding of the specific needs of the species involved. Every effort should be made to ensure adequate and ongoing training in animal handling and behavior by all parties involved and be regularly monitored. Electrical devices (e.g., stock prods) should be used judiciously and only in extreme circumstances when all other techniques have failed. Electrical devices should never be applied to sensitive parts of the animal such as the face, genitalia, or mucous membranes.
Disabled livestock should be managed in accordance with the AVMA policy on Disabled Livestock.
Resolution 6 proposed revisions to the existing policy on pluripotent stem cells. This resolution was approved with a vote of 99.7% in support of approval.
Resolution 7 proposed revisions to the existing microchipping/electronic identification policy. This resolution was not considered by the HOD because the Executive Board chose to withdraw it for further consideration and revision.
Bylaws Amendment 1 proposed a change to the means by which AVMA members will be notified of bylaws amendments. Its stated intent is to expand publication options designed to communicate the intent to amend AVMA bylaws. Two amendments were made to the proposed language and the bylaws amendment was approved by a vote of 95% in support of approval. When I’ve received the amended version of the bylaws amendment, I will post it here as an update to this blog post.
Our sincere thanks to all of our members who contacted their delegates and expressed their opinions on one or more of these proposed resolutions and the bylaws amendment.