House of Delegates 2013 Winter Session Wrap-Up

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.

4 thoughts on “House of Delegates 2013 Winter Session Wrap-Up

  1. Thanks, Dr. Gordon, for the suggestion. I cannot post info on that because I was not in attendance at that session. I’ll pass your request on to the appropriate staff here at AVMA.

  2. Please update the discussion and decision by the HoD regarding the re-organization and modernization of the governance structure of the AVMA.
    Thank you!

    • The Task Force on Governance and Member Participation plans to meet on March 8-10 in Scchaumburg to consider the various comments, feedback and data received from the Governance Dialog. They expect to develop details on their proposal after further discussion, and also expect to provide some type of interim or final report/recommendations to the EB and/or HOD before the annual convention in Chicago. A member of the task force may comment further with additional information shortly.

      • Wow! Is the Task Force on Governance and Membership Participation busy! We had our Governance Dialog on Friday with the House of Delegates, AVMA Executive Board, State & Allied Association Executives and Leaders, Emerging Leaders, Future Leaders, AVMA Staff, and other AVMA Leaders. Active dialog and feedback was received on Friday from all participants. Specific feedback continued to be received into Saturday and Sunday morning of the VLC. We also made a special visit to the Emerging Leaders group on Sunday morning to learn about their specific concerns and thoughts.

        During the Governance Dialog, the Task Force wanted to communicate to the audience the current best practices in association governance and how the AVMA can learn from such practices. We then delved into our preliminary recommendations on a proposed Board of Directors, several Advisory Councils, and a new Leadership Nominating Committee. While many details need to be developed, we wanted feedback on our ideas and concepts.

        Each participant in the Governance Dialog received a copy of the slide show. AVMA staff will be posting the final script and polling results soon. Additionally, the Task Force is now working on establishing the mechanism for receiving additional feedback from AVMA, state VMA, and allied association leaders, as well as others, as we head into our March meeting.

        As everyone knows, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Our March meeting will focus on the feedback received, final recommendations, and our timeline. Stacy Pritt – Task Force Member, Alternate HOD Delegate