March 15, 2012
Federal prosecutors and Agriculture Department regulators are fighting the illegal, but ongoing, practice of soring horses to produce the exaggerated gait desired in some gaited-horse shows. Chemical and physical methods have been used to cause pain and force the horses to alter their steps. Soring is a problem at local and professional shows alike, and those who want to continue the practice are increasingly innovative in the methods they use and in the methods they use to hide the practice.
Two of the newest veterinarians to join the Association bring a wealth of experience to the Animal Welfare and the Education and Research divisions.
United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States want Congress to approve new standards for U.S. egg producers. Critics say the legislation creates an unprecedented federal mandate for on-farm production practices, while the bill's supporters, including the AVMA, believe the standards will enhance hen welfare and are consistent with expected changes in the industry.
The federal Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program has so far awarded grants to more than a hundred veterinarians in food animal practice, mixed animal practice in rural areas, and public practice. The VMLRP repays part of veterinarians' student loans in return for work in shortage situations. Among the program participants are a veterinarian who just started a large animal practice, a veterinarian who is starting a food animal practice, and an associate veterinarian who is paying down educational debt and looking toward becoming an owner in a rural practice.
Five veterinary colleges hope their work together can create more opportunities for students, faculty, and veterinarians in the field. The Consortium of Western Regional Colleges of Veterinary Medicine comprises Colorado State University, Oregon State University, the University of California-Davis, Washington State University, and Western University of Health Sciences. Goals include producing better-prepared graduates, developing faculty expertise, and modeling collaboration.