At its November meeting (November 20-22), the AVMA Board of Directors took action on a number of AVMA policies and held a number of strategic discussions. (Note, the Executive Board is now called the Board of Directors, as of the July 2014 meeting.)
The following AVMA policies were reaffirmed and will remain unchanged from existing policy:
- Addressing the Role of Veterinary Medicine in Human Health Care Following Catastrophes Involving Mass Human Casualty
- Layer Hen Housing Systems
- Model Bill and Regulations to Assure Appropriate Care for Dogs Intended for Use as Pets
- Model Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for Domestic Travel of Companion Animals
- Transportation and Processing of Horses
- Use of Electro Muscular Disruption Devices (EMDDs) on Animals
- Veterinary Involvement in Marine Mammal Health and Welfare
Revisions to the following AVMA policies were approved by the Board of Directors:
- Animals Used in Entertainment, Shows and for Exhibition (revisions address intentional and non-intentional injury)
- Appropriate Animal Carcass Disposal (revisions advocate for continued research to provide scientific basis for best management practices)
- Best Management Practices for Pharmaceutical Disposal (revisions make the policy less prescriptive, more overarching; overarching BMPs will have greater longevity, accuracy, and relevance than a prescriptive policy that may become outdated more easily)
- Companion Animal Care Guidelines (revisions include the requirement of training in animal handling; provide additional details in several sections; and add references)
- Conservation of Wild Animals (revisions incorporate policy on Endangered Species Act; remove overly prescriptive recommendations; adds section on captive management)
- Disabled Livestock (revisions emphasize the importance of careful planning and employee training in movement of non-ambulatory livestock)
- Establishing Public Policy to Ensure Animal Well Being (revisions do not alter the substantive content of the policy, but serve to improve its clarity and general applicability
- Food Animal Health Emergency Planning (revisions recognize the relationship between animal health to food safety and public health)
- Ovariectomy in Cattle (revisions are consistent with both current science and the practical realities of production: acknowledge that ovariectomy may be performed to reduce disease spread; and incorporates recommendations for pain management)
- Promote Veterinary Medical Research and Discovery (revisions removed material that is no longer relevant)
- Removal of Antler (Velveting) (revisions include pain management recommendations)
- A literature review on this subject is available on our site.
- Veterinarian Notification of Violative Residues in Foods of Animal Origin (revised to advocate for the rolling list of violators, in order to give veterinarians the best opportunity to implement proactive residue-prevention measures with their clients)
The following new policies were approved by the Board:
- Establishment and Use of Veterinary Clinical Studies Committees Policy (highlight the need for, and benefit of, oversight of standard-of-care clinical trial research through a mechanism adjunctive to an IACUC)
- Guidelines for Use of Autogenous Biologics (supercedes previous policy of same name; new policy harmonized with USDA current procedures and guidelines concerning autogenous biologics)
- National Surveillance for Infectious Diseases (underscore the importance of effective surveillance to address the disease risks in both the public health and animal health communities)
The following policies were referred to committees/councils for further exploration and possible revision:
- Climate Change and Animal Health (referred back to the Committee on Environmental Issues for further revision)
- Use of Scheduled Substances by Wildlife Agency DEA Registrants and Authorized Agents (referred to the Committee on Environmental Issues, the Animal Welfare Committee, the Council on Biologic & Therapeutic Agents, the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine, and the Panel on Euthanasia)
The following policies were referred to the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) with recommendations to approve:
- Antimicrobial Use Guidelines
- Antimicrobial Use Guidelines for Treatment of Superficial Pyoderma in Dogs and Cats
- Antimicrobial Use Guidelines for Treatment of Urinary Tract Disease in Dogs and Cats
- Veterinary Participation in Spay-Neuter Clinics
The following policies were rescinded because they were no longer relevant or no longer needed:
- Client Disposal of Controlled Substance
- Production Animal Disease and Food Safety
The following proposed resolutions will be forwarded to the HOD for discussion and action during the upcoming Winter Session (to take place during the Veterinary Leadership Conference in January 2015):
- Resolution 8-2014: [revisions to the] AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics (the Board recommends approval of this resolution)
- Resolution 1-2015: Transportation of Research Animals for the Purpose of Biomedical Research, Testing, and Education (the Board recommends approval of this resolution)
Resolution 2-2015: Expand Weighted Voting to all House of Delegates Entities was considered by the Board, but the Board voted to recommend disapproval because the current phrasing of the proposal raised some questions about implementation and how the resolution would affect member representation on a larger scale.
The Board also discussed proposed changes to the AVMA’s Mission Statement. There will be more information coming about this soon, but I feel it’s beyond the scope of this summary blog post.
The proposed HOD resolutions and bylaws amendments will be available on our site in early December, and we’ll post a follow-up blog post at that time.
Two recommendations were postponed for further discussion:
- Action on a recommendation on the formation of a task force on veterinary medical career opportunities and awareness was postponed until April 2015 meeting.
- Action on a recommendation regarding continued collaboration with the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative was postponed until January 2015.
For more in-depth coverage of the Board of Directors meeting, look for JAVMA News articles in an upcoming issue of JAVMA. All of the new and revised policies will be posted on our site within the next few weeks.