May 15, 2012
The Department of Agriculture has grown from a collector and distributor of farming information during the 1860s to, today, a regulator responsible for food safety and animal welfare, a research source for plant and animal production, a food provider for the impoverished, an advocate for U.S. products, a disease control and eradication service, and an employer of thousands of public servants responsible for other missions intended to improve human and animal well-being. Those public servants include veterinarians in many health and research professions in a variety of USDA agencies.
Dr. Michael L. Whitehair of Abilene, Kan., has won the election to represent AVMA members living in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah on the Executive Board. Dr. Whitehair will succeed Dr. Ted Cohn as the board's District IX representative this August and serve a six-year term.
A federal magistrate ordered the Food and Drug Administration to restart withdrawal proceedings for some uses of antimicrobials for food animal production. The agency had begun such proceedings in 1977 and canceled them in late 2011. The ruling stated that the FDA was obligated to continue the withdrawal proceedings that the agency had initiated out of concerns over the safety of penicillin, chlortetracycline, and oxytetracycline use in animal feeds.
Canine and feline veterinary visits both increased slightly in 2011 over the previous year, following drops during 2010, according to the annual State of the Industry Report from the American Animal Hospital Association. Revenues for companion animal practices increased at the same rate as inflation in 2011. The new report came out at AAHA's annual conference, March 15-18 in Denver.