April 15, 2012

The AVMA is taking heat for supporting federal mandates on U.S. egg producers that would entail switching to environmentally enriched hen housing systems over the next several years. AVMA Executive Board members endorsed the federal proposal because of the anticipated benefits to egg-laying hens. But the vote has made political adversaries of some AVMA allies, who consider the bill an unprecedented expansion of government control of on-farm welfare practices.


A delegation of Iraqi veterinarians sees the AVMA as a model for ensuring veterinary education standards and practitioner competence in their country.


Legislation passed in the nation's top state for swine and laying-hen production makes it illegal for individuals to lie to enter farms. The law signed by Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad in March targets activists who have become employed on farms to secretly capture video of conditions and actions on the farms. Since 2009, videos shot in Iowa swine and laying-hen barns have captured what advocacy organizations described as the abuses seen by such employees.


The CATalyst Council, a coalition of cat advocates, is launching a pilot program to help improve relations between private practitioners and animal shelters. Council leaders discussed the initiative during a press conference at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas. The council also released results from a pilot program to make over practices to be more cat-friendly, and they revealed that makeover participants saw an increase in feline veterinary visits.


The Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases misidentified the winner of an NC-1041 Enteric Diseases (North Central Committee for Research on Enteric Diseases of Swine and Cattle) student award. The incorrect name ran in "CRWAD dedicated to Simmons," published in the March 1, 2012, JAVMA News. Hyeun Bum Kim of the University of Minnesota took top prize in the award's oral category.