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 AVMA announces new global food security policy in advance of World Veterinary Day

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) board of directors approved the association's first global food security policy during their April meeting.

The new policy complements the theme of this year's World Veterinary Day, observed April 28, promoting the role of the veterinary profession in sustainable development to improve livelihoods, food security and safety.

"Veterinarians have always been key to ensuring a safe and abundant food supply around the world, said Dr. Michael Topper, president of the AVMA. "This policy commits the AVMA to bring together different groups with diverse areas of expertise to establish public and private stakeholder partnerships to achieve global food security."

The policy was written by the AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs following the AVMA 2017 Global Food Security Summit.

The AVMA Food Safety Advisory Committee supported the adoption of this new policy through a written statement: "Veterinarians, as individuals and as members of associations, play a vital role in food security through their education and professional support of large-scale farmers and smallholders; work on disease-eradication programs; roles in ensuring good biosecurity; public health interventions for food safety; research; capacity building; and as a source of expert advice and opinion for governments, the media, consumer groups and the public."

Dr. Topper said the AVMA policy uses the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) definition of Global Food Security.

"World Veterinary Day 2018 reminds us that we have a role in ensuring that all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life," said Dr. Topper.

World Veterinary Day is an annual celebration coordinated by the World Veterinary Association and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that highlights the important contributions veterinarians make to improving the health and welfare of people and animals around the world.

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