The Executive Board updated the AVMA's positions on comparative medicine, and various aspects of species and environmental conservation in April.
On the recommendation of the Council on Research, the board approved revisions to the AVMA's position in support of the National Center for Research Resources' Comparative Medicine Program. The revisions highlight the need for educational debt forgiveness for veterinarians in the program who go on to become employed in biomedical research/comparative medicine. The new position is, which also changed from supporting continuation to strongly supporting expansion, states:
Comparative Medicine Program
The AVMA strongly supports expansion of, and addition of an educational debt-forgiveness clause to, the Comparative Medicine Program of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of the National Institutes of Health, and emphasizes the importance of the veterinarian's role in comparative, laboratory animal, and preventive medicine.
To strengthen the AVMA's positions on conservation, the board approved revisions to the position statements on the conservation of wild and exotic animals, the Endangered Species Act, and recycling and resource conservation. Members of the AVMA Committee on Environmental Issues recommended the revisions.
The position "Conservation of Wild and Exotic Animals" was revised for clarity and to provide more flexibility for the AVMA to work with other groups to conserve wild and exotic species. The new position is:
Conservation of Wild and Exotic Animals
Expressing concern about the possible extinction of many animal species, the AVMA should join with groups of conservationists and naturalists in working with the appropriate agencies of the United States and other governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international bodies to establish and maintain effective procedures for the conservation of these valuable animals in their native countries.
The amended position "Endangered Species Act" outlines AVMA support for revisions to the Endangered Species Act that strengthen the act and promote good stewardship by landowners. The revised position is:
Endangered Species Act
The AVMA supports the re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The AVMA also supports research to enable listing, management, and de-listing when warranted and public acceptance of needed conservation activities. The AVMA may also support modification of the ESA or enforcement policy changes that promote "good stewardship" practices and that would encourage private landowners to protect sensitive species and habitats and manage natural resource sustainability.
Board members also approved revisions to the AVMA policy on recycling. The revised position is:
Recycling and Resource Conservation
The AVMA supports conservation of natural resources by encouraging prudent recycling and the utilization of recycled products by its offices, employees, councils, committees, members, and others. The AVMA also encourages reduced use and re-use of supplies and materials where appropriate.