National associations join forces to explore common goals

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The AVMA will join forces with the Australian, British, and Canadian veterinary associations to explore speeding the approval of low-risk, small animal drugs that have already been approved in another of the countries.

National associations join force... Claude Paul Boivin, chief executive officer of the Canadian VMA; Dr. David Tyson, president of the British Veterinary Association; Dr. Ian Denney, president of the Australian Veterinary Association; Dr. Darcy Shaw, president of the Canadian VMA; Dr. James E. Nave, president of the AVMA; Dr. Bruce W. Little, executive vice president of the AVMA; and Bruce Wynn, chief executive officer of the Australian Veterinary Association meet as the International Veterinary Officers Council.

It would be wonderful if approved veterinary drugs that pose little risk to food safety or human health, such as companion animal drugs, were able to earn approval in additional countries with minimal testing and regulatory hurdles, said leaders of the associations, meeting as the International Veterinary Officers Council in March. The leaders agreed to bring the issue back to policy-making bodies within their organizations that could discuss the goal with the regulatory agencies in their respective countries.

This is the third time the presidents and chief executive officers of the associations have gathered as the international council. The council was formed in 1998 to promote dialogue and cooperation among the four member associations. At this year's meeting, held in Victoria, British Columbia, Dr. James E. Nave, president, and Dr. Bruce W. Little, executive vice president, represented the AVMA. Both presidents and CEOs from the Australian and Canadian veterinary associations attended, as well as Dr. David Tyson, president of the British Veterinary Association, but the British CEO had to cancel at the last minute to manage issues surrounding the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

Foot-and-mouth disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy were also among the main topics of discussion at the meeting, as were the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues and global approval of veterinary colleges.

The associations also decided to work together to ensure that judgments on antimicrobial resistance are backed by science and not public opinion. The leaders agreed to write letters to their respective World Veterinary Association councilors, asking them to lobby the WVA to recommend to the World Health Organization that any guidance on the subject be based on scientific documentation.

The leaders also exchanged items such as media guides, vaccination guidelines, dog bite program materials, and news releases to give them a greater understanding of the other associations' structures and functions.