The AVMA has added a policy concerning veterinarians and marine mammal health and welfare.
The policy proposed by the Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee and approved by the Executive Board reads as follows:
Veterinary Involvement in Marine Mammal Health and Welfare
The AVMA encourages the use of appropriately experienced and qualified veterinarians to optimize the health and welfare of marine mammals, including but not limited to population, ecosystem, and public health, medical management and oversight of stranding and rehabilitation programs; disease diagnosis; pathogen surveillance; use of therapeutic and biologic agents; human interaction; and clinical and forensic necropsies.
In reviewing the AVMA policy that supports the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the committee recognized that several marine mammal recovery and rehabilitation programs do not involve or adequately use veterinarians.
The committee believed that this new policy will allow the AVMA to encourage the inclusion of veterinarians in programs involving marine mammals and provide guidance for addressing issues that arise in future amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act.