January 01, 2009


 Board acts on aquatic medicine-related proposals

Posted Dec. 15, 2008

Changes to the charge of the AVMA Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee were approved by the Executive Board along with an extensively revised policy on the judicious use of antimicrobials in aquatic animals.

The committee recommended the changes to itself to keep pace with the rapidly developing discipline of aquatic veterinary medicine and to assist the committee in addressing issues of direct importance to the veterinary profession.

The addition of "Invited Representatives" to the AqVMC description is an attempt to identify governmental and nongovernmental organizations that regularly send a representative to council and committee meetings at their own expense. These invited representatives are not voting members of the committee, but provide input to the committee on many issues. The amended portions of the AqVMC description are as follows:


1. Advocate the role of the veterinarian in aquatic veterinary medicine at the production, practice, educational, research, natural resource management and regulatory levels for the benefit of aquatic animals and public health.
2. Develop strategies to promote, enhance and integrate the use of veterinarians' expertise to benefit the aquaculture, aquarium, ornamental fish and seafood industries, and the commercial and recreational fishing and natural resource management, and the seafood consuming, and pet owning public.
3. Review current and proposed legislation and regulatory actions at the state and federal levels and make recommendations for actions to best protect aquatic animals and public health.
4. Identify current programs to educate and train veterinarians in aquatic animal veterinary medicine and make recommendations to meet future needs and goals.
5. Promote the availability and appropriate use of diagnostic assays, medications and biologics in the prevention and treatment of aquatic animal disease.
6. Identify areas in need of veterinary expertise in seafood safety and quality assurance, biosecurity, public health, and environmental health.
7. Identify and recommend actions to address emerging aquatic veterinary issues.  

Invited Representatives

Representatives from the following organizations are invited to attend Committee meetings as observers at the organization's expense and provide the organization's perspective on aquatic veterinary issues: American Fisheries Society, Fish Health Section (AFS-FHS); American Pet Products Association (APPA); Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA); Department of Commerce, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA-NMFS); Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (DOI-USFWS); DOI, U.S. Geological Service (DOI-USGS); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water (EPA-OW); Food and Drug Administration-Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM); FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA-CFSAN); National Aquaculture Association (NAA); USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS); and, USDA-APHIS, Center for Veterinary Biologics (APHIS-CVB).

The AqVMC proposed an extensive rewrite of the Policy on Judicious and Prudent Antimicrobial Drug Use Principles for Food Fish Veterinarians that was also approved by the board. The policy, now titled Judicious Use of Antimicrobials for Treatment of Aquatic Animals by Veterinarians, incorporates changes to make the policy pertinent to any aquatic veterinarian, not just food fish veterinarians.

The policy is posted on the AVMA Web site is here.

In addition, the Executive Board approved a proposal for the AVMA to cosponsor the 6th International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health held in Tampa, Fla., Sept. 5-9, 2010.

The symposium will provide a variety of formats for exchange of current information on health and diseases of aquatic animals. Projected attendance is 300-400 people, representing 35 countries.