Student research, shelter medicine, and avian influenza are topics of three events that the Executive Board voted to help support in 2006.
The board allocated funds for other programs, such as the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, but did not approve every request for funding.
The board approved providing $10,000 toward this year's Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Symposium from Aug. 3-6 at Louisiana State University. The event showcases veterinary students who participate in summer research programs. The AVMA also was a sponsor of the 2005 symposium at the University of Georgia—which attracted more than 200 students, speakers, and scholars.
"Research is essential to the AVMA," President Henry E. Childers said during discussion about whether to also support the Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Program.
But the board did not approve budgeting $100,000 annually for three years to expand the summer research program that the Merck Foundation has sponsored for about two decades, in conjunction with the symposium.
The board approved $5,000 toward the Veterinarian Workshop Track, focusing on shelter medicine, at the American Humane Association's annual conference. The event will be from Sept. 28-30 in Schaumburg, Ill., across the street from AVMA headquarters.
The board allocated $2,000 to co-sponsor the Association of Avian Veterinarians' Avian Influenza Symposium Aug. 8 during the AAV's annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. The three-hour symposium will focus on avian influenza in pet birds and wild birds. The sponsorship reduces the registration fee for AVMA members.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation's unrestricted fund will receive $46,000 a year from the AVMA beginning in 2007, with intent that the funding will be for five years. During the AVMF's rebuilding phase, this support will be of assistance in keeping administrative costs low and achieving the foundation's missions and goals.
The board approved up to $10,000 in 2007 to offer an AVMA orientation program for executive directors of organizations in the House of Delegates. The AVMA will continue to offer the orientation program annually, bringing to headquarters a minimum of five and a maximum of 10 executive directors who have not attended a previous AVMA orientation program to familiarize them with the resources available at the AVMA.
The board did not approve partnering with Aquaculture Underwriting & Management Services to solicit outside support for improving the Online Aquatic Veterinary Resources under development through the AVMA, AUMS, and GlobalVetLink. As part of the project, with funding from the Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency, the AVMA recently launched online searchable databases of aquatic veterinarians and disease diagnostic laboratories accessible through www.AquaVets.com.
The board declined to allocate an additional $5,000 annually for the America's Animal Heroes Award as presented by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The board had already approved $7,350 annually for the award. The board also declined to commit $28,000 to creating a Task Force on Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence. Various studies have shown a connection between animal abuse and domestic violence.