CEI Roadmap for Environmental Leadership Priorities

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Goal:

The goal of AVMA's Committee on Environmental Issues (CEI) is to provide leadership to the AVMA on environmental issues that may impact animal health, public health, and the veterinary profession. 

Responsibilities:

The CEI strives to be the leader in environmental issues that impact the veterinary profession, animals, and the environment. The CEI is responsible for providing expertise and guidance to the AVMA on environmental issues as outlined in its charge and for supporting the core competencies identified by the AVMA. By utilizing the collective expertise of the Committee, the CEI supports environmentally related policy development, education, and outreach to the veterinary community.

Focus areas:

The phrase "environmental issues" encompasses a broad range of topics that have different connotations to different people. The following are the four environmental focus areas of key concern to the veterinary profession as a whole and thus the CEI in particular. The CEI will continue to weigh all environmental issues which may arise for the potential need of involvement by the AVMA; however, the Roadmap's directional clarity will facilitate and enhance the CEI's prioritization of the issues before it.
  1. Environmental Health Issues
    • Provide guidance to the AVMA on environmental health issues.
    • Identify environmental health issues that are of importance to the veterinary profession. Such key areas include but are not limited to:
      • Domestic Animal-Wildlife Interactions
      • Emerging or Re-emerging Diseases
      • Environmental Contaminants
      • Invasive Species
      • Toxicoses
      • Wildlife Health
      • Zoonotic Diseases
    • Support and facilitate effective information sharing among the AVMA, allied organizations, agencies, and other stakeholders regarding environmental health
    • Foster cooperation and collaboration among the public health, animal health, and environmental health sectors.
  2. Green Practices In Veterinary Medicine
    • Provide guidance to the AVMA on environmentally friendly and sustaining practices such as:
      • maximizing electronic communication
      • minimizing waste
      • recycling and utilizing recycled products
      • reducing resource and energy consumption
    • Serve as a knowledge resource and proponent of best green practices relative to the veterinary profession.
    • Foster membership awareness of and access to the best green practices: those which limit adverse effects on the environment while maintaining economic viability and without compromising established standards of care.
  3. Wastes Generated By Animals And The Veterinary Profession
    • Provide guidance to the AVMA on issues pertaining to proper handling and disposal of wastes such as:
      • Animal Waste
      • Carcasses
      • Hazardous Waste
      • Non-hazardous Waste
      • Pharmaceutical Waste
      • Recyclables
      • Veterinary Medical Waste
    • Advocate for safe and environmentally responsible disposal of animal carcasses.
    • Support increased research and education towards the development of appropriate methods and guidelines for animal carcass disposal.
    • Foster the awareness of veterinarians to the value, potential hazards, and legal restrictions concerning animal waste.
    • Support science based research on animal waste management systems and procedures to allow animal waste materials to be utilized as nutrient sources for sustainable agriculture systems.
    • Support scientific studies of the impact of pathogens and chemicals from animal/human waste sources on the environment.
    • Encourage regulators to use sound science in listing and characterizing wastes as well as addressing their associated hazards, risks, handling, waste steam, mitigation and control methods.
    • Encourage relevant state and federal agencies dealing with waste to use reasonable approaches in the formulation of regulations so that they consider risk/benefit analyses, the environment, the impact on the veterinary profession, and the health and welfare of patients and caregivers.
  4. One Health
    • Provide guidance to the AVMA on environmental aspects of the One Health concept.
    • Explore opportunities for spotlighting and incorporating the One Health concept.
    • Assist Federal and State agencies in ensuring a One Health approach is incorporated into the development and review of pertinent rules and regulations.
    • Support legislative efforts which appropriately apply the One Health concept.
    • Support and facilitate effective information sharing among the AVMA, allied organizations, agencies, and other stakeholders regarding One Health issues.

Relevant AVMA Policy: