A foreign colleague bearing a special message was welcomed warmly by the AVMA Executive Board in June.
Professor Jean-François Chary, inspector general of the French Ministry of Agriculture, invited the AVMA to become the first organization outside France to sign on to Vet 2011, a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the world's first veterinary school, in Lyons, France. Professor Chary said this was "the birth certificate of our profession" and of veterinary education and comparative biopathology.
Professor Chary, a former dean at Lyons, engaged the board with his account of the events leading to Claude Bourgelat's founding of the first two French veterinary schools—Lyons (1761) and Alfort (1764), and plans to commemorate the profession's historic beginnings.
Professor Jean-François Chary, inspector general of the French Ministry
of Agriculture, invites the AVMA to become the first organization outside
France to sign on to Vet 2011.
In May, several French founding members of this initiative created Comité Vet 2011, which is now recruiting organizational members internationally so that 2011 can be designated World Veterinary Year and commemorated with special events.
Later in the June meeting, the board approved a recommendation from AVMA President Gregory S. Hammer authorizing the Association to become an associate member and a corresponding member of Vet 2011, as proposed by professor Chary. The cost will be 1,000 euros—currently the equivalent of 1,550 U.S. dollars—each year for four years.
In this way, the AVMA will take the initiative to coordinate veterinary institutions in the United States to create a U.S. committee for Vet 2011.
Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA executive vice president and chief executive officer, said, "I'm excited because this is clearly an opportunity to highlight the veterinary profession globally and its contributions not only to veterinary medicine but also to human health."