The Executive Board approved a recommendation from the Legislative Advisory Committee to work with the USDA-FSIS as that agency reorganizes and restructures the role of its veterinarians.
In August 2000, an FSIS task force released a report containing suggestions concerning the way veterinary medical expertise is considered and how that expertise is cultivated, nurtured, and used within FSIS.
Recommendations revolved around five major issues: defining the role of the FSIS veterinarian; education, training, recognition, and recruitment; development and refinement of partnerships; information management centered on animal identification; and veterinary contributions to international credibility.
The committee requested that the AVMA-USDA Relations Committee and the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Medicine monitor the progress at FSIS and confer with the committee on the process, so the committee may provide any needed legislative steps to encourage the restructuring process.
Dr. Bonnie Beaver, District VIII, said veterinarians in her district were concerned that the restructuring would result in fewer job opportunities for veterinarians within FSIS and that the agency would increasingly rely on non-veterinarians.
Regardless, it is "best that the AVMA be at the table to have a say in this matter," said Dr. Leonard Tinney, District IV.