As part of its July 11-12 agenda, the House of Delegates will consider seven resolutions at its annual session in Nashville. The Executive Board has recommended that the HOD approve four of them, including two that involve animal welfare issues.
Resolution 3 seeks to strengthen AVMA support for housing pregnant pigs in individual gestation stalls. The board recommended its approval. The American Association of Swine Veterinarians, which submitted the resolution, believes that research has shown that individual gestation stalls help to minimize aggression, protect animals from temperature extremes, and provide animals with access to adequate food and water, as long as the appropriate level of stockmanship is administered.
Resolution 6 is one of two contrasting resolutions that would revise the AVMA position on induced molting. It was submitted by the American Association of Avian Pathologists and the Association of Avian Veterinarians. This resolution would promote AVMA support of carefully managed induced molting practices. It calls for further research into ways to improve the method and recommends alternative diets instead of denying the birds food. According to Dr. Robert Eckroade, CEO of the AAAP, the resolution was a response to opposition to induced molting in previous resolutions initiated by the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights. In fact, the AAV has this year again initiated a resolution opposing induced molting. The board did not recommend approval of Resolution 7, initiated by AVAR and submitted by petition of AVMA members.
The board recommended approval of Resolutions 4 and 5, which call for commendations. Resolution 4 would commend active and reserve veterinarians in the Uniformed Services who are supporting and participating in operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. Veterinarians involved in Enduring Freedom have been deployed to Southwest Asia to help fight the war on terrorism. Those associated with Noble Eagle are supporting the homeland defense effort. This resolution was submitted by the District of Columbia VMA, National Association of Federal Veterinarians, American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, Delaware VMA, and Pennsylvania VMA.
Resolution 5 would commend veterinarians and veterinary technicians who volunteered in the rescue and recovery efforts following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The New Jersey VMA, Virginia VMA, Delaware VMA, and Pennsylvania VMA submitted it.
Besides Resolution 7, the board did not recommend approval of Resolution 1 or Resolution 2. Resolution 1, submitted by the Alabama VMA, calls for the AVMA to produce and distribute a printed roster of the delegates and alternates to all members of the House of Delegates, to facilitate communication. One board member commented that more than 90 percent of AVMA members have Internet access, and an HOD roster is currently available to members on the AVMA Web site.
Resolution 2 was submitted by the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners. It asked the AVMA to work to prevent implementation of regulations or policies that increase the regulatory burden without a clear benefit to animal welfare or to the protection of the food supply or the public at large. The board was not comfortable enough with the wording to recommend approval.
For more analysis of this year's resolutions, see JAVMA News, July 1, 2002, page 12.