November 15, 2012

Public health departments, battered by budget cuts, are reducing services and employing fewer people, including veterinarians. During a September meeting, “Sustaining Public Health Capacity in an Age of Austerity,” public health experts described ways for agencies to adapt, including choosing focus areas and determining which services are most effective, most needed by the public, and best provided by government agencies.

Issues

The Federal Trade Commission held a workshop Oct. 2 to explore trade restrictions in the distribution of pet medications to consumers. The FTC began exploring the subject in light of a bill in Congress that would require veterinarians to provide pet owners with written prescriptions automatically. The workshop covered issues such as consumers’ ability to obtain prescriptions from veterinarians and manufacturers’ agreements to sell certain drugs only through veterinarians.
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Practice

Hundreds of veterinary practices are participating in the new Cat Friendly Practice Program from the American Association of Feline Practitioners. The aim of the initiative is to elevate feline veterinary care and increase routine veterinary visits for cats. Membership in the AAFP, a prerequisite for participation in the CFP Program, has increased 35 percent in the past year. Attendance also was up for the AAFP’s annual meeting, Sept. 20-23 in Seattle.

Community

Two veterinary institutions with similar roots marked their 150th anniversaries this year. Founders of the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College and the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine—Drs. Andrew Smith and James McCall, respectively—both graduated from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh.