AVMA supports animal feeding strategy

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The AVMA Executive Board amended then approved a recommendation from the Committee on Environmental Affairs that the Association support the EPA/USDA Unified Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations. Announced in March 1999, the strategy clarifies the agencies' expectations for large facilities in preventing manure spills in US waterways.

The strategy emphasizes technical assistance and voluntary measures to prevent manure spills, rather than requiring stringent federal regulations.

A second recommendation advised that the AVMA add its name to a letter to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. The letter supports increased funding for the National Science Foundation and for implementation of the foundation's recently approved report that calls for additional science and education initiatives.

The Executive Board referred back to the committee its recommendation encouraging veterinarians to pursue research in the area of toxigenic algal blooms.

In its proposal, the committee explained that algal blooms can have negative effects on water quality, public health, and the health of aquatic ecosystems and fisheries. The causes of these blooms and their relationship to manure spills and human activity is not clear. The committee suggested that, because of their training in basic microbiology and toxicology, veterinarians be encouraged to pursue research in this area.

The board believed the Committee on Environmental Affairs needed to further clarify its recommendation.