Resolutions on issues ranging from drug compounding to veterinary student concerns await the AVMA House of Delegates July 18-19 in New Orleans.
Delegates will consider 14 resolutions submitted by the May 19 deadline. This upswing in submissions attests to House Advisory Committee Chair Mark Helfat's efforts to promote more HOD-driven initiatives.
Dr. Helfat said one of the House of Delegates' main functions is to determine policy with regard to veterinary medicine. "We've been a little deficient in that department over the past couple years, and we need to pay more attention to this.
"Technically, I'd like to see every time the House of Delegates gets together 20 resolutions. And when you consider policy with regard to veterinary medicine, it's a wide open field out there."
Recently the HOD manual was revised to create a process whereby resolutions can be amended. They can be reworded for clarity but may not be edited to add or take away from the thoughts originally expressed by the authors of the resolutions. Dr. Helfat said, "Now we can actually work with delegates' resolutions as opposed to voting them up or down. It's a much more fluid process now."
The HAC and 10 other entities sponsored or co-sponsored one or more resolutions. One resolution was submitted by petition of AVMA members. Dr. Helfat said they are a fair representation of items that need to be addressed by the delegates, so they cover a spectrum. The text of each follows.
Resolution 1, submitted by the California VMA:
AVMA Eliminate the Position of Vice President
"RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) eliminate Section 4. Vice President, of Article VI of the AVMA Bylaws."
Resolution 2, submitted by the HAC:
Veterinary Staffing of USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
"RESOLVED, that the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service be encouraged to add more veterinary positions and hire more veterinarians to adequately enforce the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act."
Resolution 3, submitted by the HAC:
Funding for Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank
"RESOLVED, that the Delegates, Alternate Delegates, and the Principal and Constituent Allied Veterinary Organizations represented in the AVMA House of Delegates be encouraged to engage in active grassroots support for funding of the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank."
Resolution 4, submitted by the HAC:
Increased Involvement with Veterinary Students
"RESOLVED, that the AVMA increase its interaction and involvement with veterinary students."
Resolution 5, submitted by the California VMA:
Student Affairs Division
"RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) develop a Student Affairs Division that is exclusively dedicated to veterinary student issues and concerns. And that the funds dedicated for the Vice President to visit the schools, be redirected to the Student Affairs Division."
Resolution 6, submitted by the HAC:
Model Certificate of Veterinary Inspection
"RESOLVED, that the AVMA Develop a Model Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for the Domestic Travel of Companion Animals."
Resolution 7, submitted by the HAC and the American Association of Equine Practitioners:
Drug Compounding of Unapproved Mimics
"RESOLVED, that to ensure the health and welfare of animals and the public, that the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine be encouraged to strictly enforce its rules prohibiting drug compounding that produces unapproved mimics of commercially available FDA-approved drugs."
Resolution 8, submitted by the HAC:
"RESOLVED, that the AVMA House of Delegates supports identification of livestock to enable trace back and trace forward of animals for the purpose of animal disease control and eradication programs."
Resolution 9, submitted by the HAC:
One Health Initiative
"RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) engage in enhanced collaboration and communication with the various health science professions and their respective associations, including human medicine and the American Medical Association, public health and the American Public Health Association, and environmental health, and other key stakeholders, working locally, nationally and globally among multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment."
Resolution 10, submitted by the Iowa VMA:
Promotion of Research on Canine Influenza
"RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) actively promote evidence-based research on canine influenza virus and its potential effects on both animal and human health."
Resolution 11, submitted by the District of Columbia VMA, National Association of Federal Veterinarians, American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, Maryland VMA, Pennsylvania VMA, Virginia VMA, and Delaware VMA:
Make it a Legislative Priority for Veterinarians To Receive Equitable Pay in Public Practice Compared to Other Health Professions
"RESOLVED, that the AVMA place top priority on proposing and advocating for passage of legislation that would provide equal pay for veterinarians and physicians carrying out equal work in the federal government in regards to base salary and special pay; support State VMAs to pursue equity in pay for public practice veterinarians; and work with other organizations to accomplish these goals."
Resolution 12, submitted by the District of Columbia VMA, National Association of Federal Veterinarians, American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, Maryland VMA, Pennsylvania VMA, Virginia VMA, and Delaware VMA:
Adopt Equal Pay for Equal Work for Veterinarians and Physicians as Part of the Mandate of the One Health Initiative
"RESOLVED, that the AVMA, as a member of the "One Health Initiative," adopt an official position that it leads the Initiative to promote equal pay for veterinarians and physicians doing equal work as part of the Initiative's mandate."
Resolution 13, submitted by the District of Columbia VMA, National Association of Federal Veterinarians, American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, Maryland VMA, Pennsylvania VMA, and Delaware VMA:
Commission the NCVEI To Study and Address Economic Issues Impacting Veterinarians in Public Practice and Academia
"RESOLVED, that the AVMA Executive Board commission the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) to 1) study economic factors impacting on veterinarians in federal and State public practice and academia, including salaries and benefits, recruitment, retention and professional opportunities; 2) evaluate how these factors compare with allied health professions, and how these factors affect allied professions; and 3) make recommendations on how to close any gaps that currently exist and to prevent gaps from growing with time."
Resolution 14, submitted by petition:
Position Statement on Confinement of Calves Raised for Veal
"RESOLVED, that the AVMA supports a change in veal husbandry practices from the individual calf crate system that severely restricts movement to group housing systems that allow for freedom of movement and socialization in order to enhance the welfare of calves contained therein."