The Executive Board has approved President Bonnie V. Beaver's recommendation to sunset the Animal Welfare Committee and establish an Animal Welfare Advisory Committee in its place.
In her recommendation, Dr. Beaver explained that the AWC was reconfigured in 2000 to provide representation from the various segments of the profession through allied organizations. This way, it was hoped that the committee could more effectively address welfare issues with two-way communication between the AVMA and the represented allied organizations.
In several instances, however, it has been difficult getting representatives appointed to the committee, and two-way communication has been inconsistent, according to Dr. Beaver.
Dr. Beaver said that with the creation of the Animal Welfare Division, this new committee is intended to be a "visionary group" that would advise the Executive Board about future welfare issues. "This group is supposed to be individuals with a broad view," she said.
The Animal Welfare Advisory Committee will consist of five voting members appointed by the Executive Board from a slate of names submitted by the board's credentialing committee, with input from the Animal Welfare Division and Executive Board.
Committee members will be appointed on the basis of their broad expertise in the science of animal welfare, with the understanding that they are to be visionary thinkers who are not representing any specific allied organization or animal industry. At least three members must be veterinarians.
Among the committee's objectives are proposing a broad definition of animal welfare against which the AVMA can judge proposed animal welfare position statements and resolutions. Additionally, it is to envision activities involving animals that may become problematic, and recommend positions or actions to proactively address them, and work with the animal welfare committees of allied organizations.