May 15, 2007


 Comments invited on proposed new specialty

Posted May 1, 2007

The AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties has received a petition for recognition of the Exotic Companion Mammal Practice specialty under the auspices of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, which has been an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization since 1978. In compliance with ABVS procedures for recognition of a new specialty under an existing RVSO (, the ABVS is now seeking comment from the public and the profession regarding the proposed new specialty.

The Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians ( first petitioned the ABVP in 2004 to begin the process toward recognition of the Exotic Companion Mammal Practice specialty. The ABVP submitted a formal petition for recognition of the specialty to the ABVS Committee on the Development of New Specialties in December 2006.

The ABVP and the organizing committee for the proposed new specialty believe that the diverse and unique veterinary requirements of exotic companion mammals—defined as client-owned ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents, and other small exotic mammals—are substantial enough to warrant separate specialty recognition. Because the proposed new specialty would administer certification under the ABVP umbrella, credentialing and examination requirements would be the same as for the current ABVP-recognized veterinary specialties of Avian Practice, Beef Cattle Practice, Canine and Feline Practice, Dairy Practice, Equine Practice, Feline Practice, Food Animal Practice, and Swine Health Management ( The petition further indicates that there are more than 35 current members of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians who would pursue board certification in the ABVP Exotic Companion Mammal Practice specialty once it were recognized.

Twenty veterinary specialty organizations are recognized by the AVMA, and of those, seven have recognized veterinary specialties. All AVMA-recognized specialty organizations and specialties comply with recognition guidelines outlined in the ABVS Policies and Procedures Manual.  Refer to those guidelines when developing comments regarding the proposed specialty of Exotic Companion Mammal Practice.

Comments must be signed and received no later than Nov. 1, 2007, by Julie Granstrom, AVMA Education and Research Division, 1931 N. Meacham Rd, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360, or via e-mail at Questions regarding the recognition guidelines or the proposed new specialty may be directed to Ms. Granstrom via e-mail or phone, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6778.