Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues

The purposes of the committee are to address the veterinarian's role in emergency and disaster issues; to address the effects of disasters on animal health, public health, and the veterinary profession; to contribute to the development of AVMA policy on disaster and emergency issues that affect the veterinary profession; and to develop guidelines for the veterinary profession to use to support appropriate responses to disaster situations.


  • Identify and prioritize, for AVMA action, legislation, regulation, and public policy relating to disaster issues that impact the veterinary profession.
  • Identify specific areas in which the AVMA needs to call upon its resources, influence, and alliances to cause needed action. Such action might include, but not be limited to, legislative, research, public relations, outreach, and continuing education efforts.
  • Identify veterinarians and other professionals with needed expertise for presentations and other forums to help further educate the veterinary profession regarding disaster-related topics and issues.
  • Provide information to the membership to enable them to make informed decisions about disaster issues in their communities.
  • In conjunction with allied groups, agencies, and other entities, address established and emerging disaster issues relevant to the veterinary profession.
  • Propose and monitor AVMA disaster program policy and priorities.
  • Coordinate with all facets of public, private, and government sectors to facilitate the integration of veterinary issues into emergency management plans.

Membership, method of appointment, and representation

The committee shall consist of 10 voting members who have established experience and expertise in disaster preparedness and emergency issues. The members are designated as one each from the following species areas: food animal, small animal, equine, poultry, commercial animal agriculture, a state veterinarian nominated by the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials, federal or state public health agency, the uniformed services, animal disaster response training of veterinary students, and a representative nominated by the board of the National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs.

Committee members will be appointed by the Board of Directors for three-year terms and will serve a maximum of two terms.


The committee will select a chair and vice chair from among its members.


In-person meetings are to be held twice a year (or as determined by the Board of Directors) in Schaumburg, Illinois, at the AVMA headquarters, or virtually as appropriate.


Travel expenses are authorized in accordance with the AVMA travel policy.


The committee will advise and report to the AVMA Board of Directors.