The World Small Animal Veterinary Association more than doubled the veterinarians it represents after voting to accept applications for organizational membership from the AVMA, Western Veterinary Conference, and Canadian VMA. Membership and participation in the WSAVA are expected to cost the AVMA up to $6,700 annually; the Association has never been a member.
The agreement went into effect at the WSAVA's 36th Congress, Oct. 14-17 in Jeju, Korea. Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, AVMA president-elect, attended the meeting. He said the agreement made sense, given that most AVMA members are small animal practitioners and the WSAVA is the global voice of companion animal practice.
"This gives us an opportunity to define our mutual interests (in or with the WSAVA) and map out activities," where the two can work together, he said.
The AVMA Executive Board voted to apply for membership in November 2010. Earlier, at the 2010 AVMA Annual Convention, leaders from the AVMA, WSAVA, and American Animal Hospital Association—formerly the only North American member of the WSAVA—met to discuss potential collaborations. The three associations recognized the similarity among their initiatives and the opportunity that membership in the WSAVA would provide to promote the AVMA strategic plan internationally.
Both the AVMA and the WSAVA serve the interests of their respective members on matters relating to the health, welfare, and advancement of companion animal veterinary science through continuing education, research, and standardization, according to the AVMA-WSAVA strategic positioning paper that came from the 2010 meeting.
Currently, the WSAVA has committees looking into issuing guidelines for classifying pathologic lesions of the kidney, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. Other committees are working on guidelines for pain management in companion animal practice and a host of other issues.
Dr. Aspros said the WSAVA has much potential for international policy and standard setting, which is also where the AVMA's interest lies. This was most recently demonstrated via the joint statements the Association and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe issued this past September.