September 01, 2009


 Six amendments adopted

Posted Aug. 15, 2009

The House of Delegates voted July 10 on nine proposed amendments to the AVMA Bylaws, adopting six.

Six of the amendments proposed procedures by which AVMA entities charged by the HOD with researching and providing reports on resolutions would ensure that the information is provided back to the HOD.

Proposed bylaws amendments 1, 2, and 3, submitted by the House Advisory Committee, proposed that AVMA entities submit to the Executive Board any report they develop on a veterinary medicine-related resolution referred to them by the HOD. If requested by the HOD, the board would then submit a new resolution to the HOD, incorporating the findings. Amendment 1 applies to standing committees of the Executive Board, amendment 2 to councils, and amendment 3 to advisory/ad hoc committees and task forces.

The New Jersey VMA, Association of Avian Veterinarians, and Virginia VMA proposed a different approach in corresponding amendments 4, 5, and 6. The sponsors proposed that unless instructed otherwise by the HOD, those same AVMA entities would submit directly to the HOD any report they develop on a veterinary medicine-related resolution referred to them for study by the HOD.

The HAC, noting that AVMA entities report to the Executive Board, believed that in a spirit of cooperation, the board should submit a resolution to the HOD that incorporates an entity's recommendations.

On the other hand, the NJVMA, AAV, and VVMA believed the report should be submitted back to the originating body, the HOD.

The HOD approved amendments 1, 2, and 3 by voice vote, and disapproved amendments 4, 5, and 6 by an electronic vote of almost 85 percent.

The HOD also approved Amendments 7, 8, and 9. Amendment 7 proposed a deletion in the bylaw about disciplinary action/termination of AVMA membership, striking information on how a statement of charges must be delivered to a member. In its statement about the amendment, the Executive Board noted that many other delivery services other than certified mail—the only method listed—are available that also provide traceability, regardless of whether a signature is obtained. In a related action, the board in June approved a Judicial Council recommendation revising the Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. The revisions include a list of acceptable delivery methods for statements of charges.

In approving Amendment 8, the HOD removed the Council on Communications from the list of councils authorized by the AVMA Bylaws (see story).

Approval of Amendment 9 changes the term of service for council members from six years to three, with the option of running for a second consecutive term. The HAC submitted the amendment with the intent that a three-year term could attract more candidates while allowing the HOD to avoid re-electing a member who is not furthering the charge and objectives of the council.

Dr. Daniel E. Lafontaine, delegate representing the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, said, "We need to set up a structure so we can entice folks, especially young folks, to serve on these councils."

The Council on Education is exempted from this proposed change because of its critical accreditation function and the experience required of its members.