September 01, 2009


 Zoo veterinarians win a seat on House Advisory Panel

Posted Aug. 15, 2009

The American Association of Zoo Veterinarians is the newest member of the Advisory Panel to the AVMA House of Delegates.

By a vote of 93.1 percent, AVMA delegates at the HOD regular annual session July 10 in Seattle overwhelmingly voted in support of Resolution 1, giving the AAZV a seat on the House of Delegates panel.

Advisory panel members do not vote on HOD actions, but instead, offer expert advice on a broad range of veterinary-related issues as needed.

The advisory panel includes representatives of eight other organizations: the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Homeland Security, National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials, National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Food Safety and Inspection services.

The House Advisory Committee authored Resolution 1. Although the AAZV membership is too small for it to qualify as a constituent allied organization in the HOD, the HAC believes the organization is an important informational resource.

In the resolution background, the HAC explained that zoo veterinarians protect the health of many nondomestic species as well as contribute to public health by helping prevent zoonotic diseases from spreading. In addition, they promote the health and welfare of the animals in zoo collections.

The HAC and Reference Committee 1 recommended the HOD pass Resolution 1, but the Executive Board suggested delegates vote down the measure. The board believed the AAZV didn't comport with the role of the advisory panel, which has been comprised entirely of representatives able to provide the HOD with a governmental view.

During deliberations over Resolution 1, Dr. Kim A. Nicholas, the Washington delegate, spoke in favor of the measure, saying that membership on the advisory panel is not exclusive to regulatory bodies or organizations with large memberships.

"Just because they don't have the (numbers), it doesn't mean they don't have the expertise to advise this House," Dr. Nicholas said.