AVMA Executive Board members agree the AVMA should be prepared to release research seed funds in the event a disease of substantial clinical importance emerged in the United States. They differed, however, on the funding mechanism.
In November 1999 the board created a Rapid Response Research Fund as proposed by the Council on Research (see JAVMA, Jan 15, 2000, page 162), and allocated $15,000 (of a requested $100,000). The funds are in a restricted AVMA account accessible only to the board.
This April, the council recommended that the board "fully implement" the fund by allocating $42,500 in fiscal 2000 and $42,500 in fiscal 2001, and place the funds in a restricted account within the AVMF. The council believes that those additional funds are needed to initiate a meaningful rapid response and promote recruitment of funds from additional donors.
The board disapproved the measure, because the voting majority considers the funding to be as readily available through the current mechanism as it would be in the proposed alternate method. Either way, the board would have to approve any activation.
Dr. Harmon Rogers intimated that the board stands by, ready to fund reasonable proposals, an intent demonstrated by the $15,000 already allocated. AVMA President Leonard F. Seda called it good faith money.