||House of Delegates to consider five resolutions|
Military veterinarians, induced molting and foie gras, legislative/regulatory guidance, foreign graduate certification are on HOD agenda
Commendation of Uniformed Services members
RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association acknowledges and commends the outstanding achievements of the active and reserve component veterinarians of the Uniformed Services of the United States of America who have in the past, are currently, and will continue to support and participate in the global war on terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Position Statement on Induced (Forced) Molting in Layer Hens
RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association opposes induced molting through the use of food and/or water withdrawal.
Position Statement on Force Feeding Birds To Produce Foie Gras
RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association hereby opposes the practice of force feeding ducks and geese to produce foie gras.
Confirming the Need for Expansion of the Executive Board's Assigned 5 Point Charge to the Task Force on State Legislative and Regulatory Issues
RESOLVED, that the Task Force on State Legislative and Regulatory Issues formed in response to resolution 4 (approved in 2003 by the House of Delegates), be required to expand their 5 point charge to include an analysis of how other national non-veterinary professional associations provide requested assistance to their constituent state professional associations when those associations are defending their practice acts or are responding to, state initiatives that, may diminish the role and scope of their profession on an interstate basis.
Be it further resolved, that this requested comparative analysis include the evaluation of the support structure including funding of at least three (3) other national non-veterinary professional associations, one of which must be the American Optometric Association and that any desirable program used by these associations be reported.
Texas Veterinary Medical Association/Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners Proposal for Certification of Graduates of Non-Accredited Veterinary Schools
RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) make a good faith effort to work with the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) to complete the establishment of a single, independent body for the certification of graduates of foreign veterinary schools, giving serious consideration to the proposal that the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners put forth in 2003.
When the AVMA House of Delegates holds its annual session in Philadelphia, July 23-24, five resolutions will await their consideration. Constituent associations and AVMA petitioners submitted them before the May 1 deadline.
Resolution 1 calls for the AVMA to commend the outstanding achievements of the active and reserve component veterinarians of the Uniformed Services of the United States who have participated in the global war on terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The board and HAC recommend approval.
According to the District of Columbia VMA and the National Association of Federal Veterinarians, which submitted the resolution, over a hundred veterinarians have been deployed to the Persian Gulf over the past two years to carry out vital missions. Uniformed Service veterinarians are providing support in the areas of food safety, food quality assurance, military working dog care, and humanitarian assistance.
They have supported Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war on terrorism by providing care to government-owned animals, performing environmental surveillance and monitoring, collaborating with federal agencies, nation building, and supporting biodefense research and development initiatives.
Animal welfare is the subject of two resolutions submitted by petition. Resolution 2 requests that the AVMA oppose induced molting through the use of food and/or water withdrawal. This is the sixth consecutive year that delegates have been asked to oppose the practice, but they have voted it down the previous five times. Induced molting is a husbandry practice that brings laying hens into a nonlaying and oviduct rejuvenation period, usually through feed restriction and reduced photoperiod.
This year's resolution is essentially the same as last year's, although it is stated more simply. The background notes, among other things, that the current AVMA position statement already opposes water withdrawal; that food deprivation is inhumane when it is not medically required; and that alternative methods exist to induce molt. The HAC recommends disapproval, and the board also recommends disapproval.
Resolution 3 asks that the AVMA oppose the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese to produce foie gras. In the background, the petitioners state that they oppose the practice because it adversely affects the birds' health and welfare. They go on to note that there is a considerable weight of scientific evidence, including a study by a committee of the European Commission—Report of the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare—to support that view.
The HAC recommends that the HOD refer Resolution 3 to the Animal Welfare Committee for further study. The board recommends disapproval.
Coincidentally, the California Senate in May passed S.B. 1520, which prohibits a person from force-feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging its liver beyond normal size, and prohibits a product from being sold in California if it is the result of force-feeding a bird. The legislation is now in the California Assembly's Committee on Business and Professions.
The Florida VMA introduced Resolution 4 (of 2004), which would require expansion of the AVMA Executive Board's assigned, five-point charge to the Task Force on State Legislative and Regulatory issues. As one of the 10 constituent organizations that sponsored Resolution 4 of 2003, the FVMA stated in the background to the 2004 resolution that it is "grateful and encouraged" that the board approved a plan to address short- and long-term AVMA support for managing legislative and regulatory initiatives faced by constituent organizations at the state level. The board's action was in response to HOD approval of the 2003 resolution.
However, the FVMA is concerned that the current charge to the task force is limited to undertaking an internal review, so it is asking also for an analysis of how other national professional associations provide such assistance to their constituent associations. This is to include an evaluation of those associations' support and funding structures. One of the associations analyzed would be the American Optometric Association, which the FVMA states has struggled successfully to establish and expand its legislated scope of practice, "against the vigorous opposition of the American Medical Association."
HAC recommends referral of Resolution 4 to the task force itself, for further study. The board is forwarding the resolution to the HOD with no recommendation.
In Resolution 5, the Texas VMA calls for the AVMA to work with the American Association of Veterinary State Boards to complete the establishment of a single, independent body for certifying graduates of foreign veterinary schools.
The TVMA also asked the AVMA to give consideration to the proposal that the TVMA and Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners put forth in 2003. The proposal was based on recommendations of a joint TBVME/TVMA task force on determining the educational equivalence of candidates for veterinary licensure who have not graduated from an AVMA-accredited institution. The proposal sets forth a set of minimum requirements for determining educational equivalence, and a sequence for meeting each requirement.
The TVMA states in the background that the AVMA and AAVSB have had time to resolve this issue but do not appear to be any closer to a resolution than they were two years ago. The HAC recommends that the HOD refer Resolution 5 to the board to include in the development of a joint recommendation with the AAVSB. The board postponed making its recommendation until it meets this July before the HOD.