Executive Board November Meeting Wrap-Up

The AVMA Executive Board (EB) met November 21-23, 2013 at the AVMA HQ in Schaumburg. The November and April EB meetings are what I’d consider the more “heavy lifting” meetings when it comes to policy, because much of the time and deliberation is spent reviewing, discussing and taking action on policy recommendations from AVMA councils and committees.The EB meetings also include strategic discussion, as well as the budget approvals and other business duties that fall under their purview.

At this meeting, the EB took action on more than 30 professional policies. All AVMA policies are subject to a 5-year review cycle, but can also be reviewed at any time the oversight council or committee feels is necessary. AVMA and SAVMA members, you’re free to comment on ANY AVMA policy at ANY time through our policy commenting system – just open the policy page and click on the “Comment on this policy” link. Your input is especially timely on policies that are up for review. You’ll know they’re up for review by the presence of a gold arrow next to the policy name on the main policy list page (this page will be updated soon with the next round of policies up for review).

The following new policies were approved and will be posted on our website over the course of the next few weeks:

  • Pet Health Insurance (This policy supersedes the existing policy and clarifies recommendations and removes an impractical item.)
  • Uniform Jurisdiction for Aquatic Veterinary and Animal Health Programs

The following policies were reaffirmed, meaning that they will continue to be AVMA policies and remain unchanged.

The following policies were revised and the revisions will be posted on our site over the next few weeks:

  • Fluoroquinolones (Revisions address the need for judicious use by veterinarians.)
  • Global Climate Change and Animal Health (Revisions increase the clarity of messages.)
  • Hazards in the Workplace (Revisions bring the policy into legal compliance.)
  • Healthy People 2010 (Revisions update with info on Healthy People 2020 efforts.)
  • Human-Animal Interaction and Bond (Revisions clarify definitions and emphasize the role of veterinarians in preserving these interactions.)
  • Human-Animal Interactions Terminology (Revisions improve standardization of terminology.)
  • Microchips (Revisions attempt to clarify the roles of veterinarians. This revised policy also supersedes a policy on Use of Microchip Registration Databases.)
  • Military Treatment Facilities (Revisions clarify the policy and reflect input from the military.)
  • Pet Food Health Claims (Revisions emphasize the need for a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship for pet foods with therapeutic claims.)
  • Service Animals (The revisions better align the AVMA’s definition of “service animal” with that of the Americans with Disabilities Act.)
  • Veal Calf Management (Revisions address early group housing and nutrition.)
  • Veterinary Facility Occupational Risks for Pregnant Workers (Revisions bring the policy into legal compliance.)
  • Veterinary Medical Waste (Revisions increase the applicability, readability, and shelf-life of the policy.)

Proposed revisions to the AVMA policy on Internet Pharmacies included strengthening the statement about veterinarians providing prescriptions upon request (changing “should” to “must”, as well as providing good communications. The Board initially approved the revisions, but then reconsidered and decided to refer the policy back to the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents (COBTA) to work with the Judicial Council and ensure that the proposed revisions are compatible with the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics. As of now, the policy stands as written.

The following policies were rescinded and are no longer in effect:

  • Ethylene Glycol (Rescinded because it is redundant now that there is a general policy on Toxicoses.)
  • Licensure (Rescinded because it is no longer relevant.)
  • Standardization of Diagnostic Procedures and Pathogen Identification of Animal Diseases (Rescinded because it is no longer relevant.)

Remember, if you just can’t wait for these wrap-up posts to find out what’s going on at these meetings, we live-tweet them on our @AVMAvets Twitter feed. (Don’t worry, we do spare you the tweets with details about the formalities like roll call and such.) You don’t have to have a Twitter account to view the feed. More detailed coverage of the EB meeting will appear in an upcoming issue of JAVMA News.

And AVMA and SAVMA members, please remember to contact your House of Delegates representatives if you’d like to provide your input on the proposed bylaws amendments and resolutions that will be considered in January.

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