Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues

The purpose of the Committee is 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 position statements on disaster and emergency issues that affect the veterinary profession; and to develop guidelines for the veterinary profession to use regarding various aspects of disaster situations.


  1. Identify and prioritize for AVMA support, legislation, regulation, and public policy relating to disaster issues that have an impact on the veterinary profession.
  2. 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, and continuing education efforts.
  3. Identify veterinarians and other professionals with needed expertise for presentations and other forums that help further educate the veterinary profession regarding disaster-related topics and issues.
  4. Provide information to the membership to enable them to make informed decisions about disaster issues in their communities.
  5. In conjunction with allied groups, agencies, and other entities, address established and emerging disaster issues relevant to the veterinary profession.
  6. Propose and monitor AVMA disaster program policy and priorities.
  7. 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 nine members who have established experience and expertise in disaster preparedness and emergency issues. The members are designated as follows: 1 each from VMAT (who is a member of the former VMAT Program), food animal practice, small animal practice, federal or state public health agency, poultry medicine, equine practice, the uniformed services, a state veterinarian who is active in disaster-related issues, and a representative nominated by the board of the National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs. There shall be a Board of Directors liaison representative to the committee.

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


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


Meetings are to be held twice a year in Schaumburg, IL at AVMA headquarters.


Travel expenses are authorized in accordance with the AVMA Travel Policy.


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