AVMA adjusts plans in wake of attack

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AVMA operations were temporarily disrupted as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Not only was the fall meeting schedule for councils and committees revised, but key legislative initiatives have largely been placed on hold as Congress turns it attention to military action and the economy.

The Association's Governmental Relations Division evacuated its Washington, D.C., office as did the White House, Congress, and the rest of the city after a hijacked commercial airplane was crashed into the Pentagon.

"The impact of your government running for cover has a very profound effect," said Dr. Niall Finnegan, GRD director. He noted that much of the legislation the AVMA is working on has been pushed to the back burner as lawmakers focus on preparing for war and propping up the flagging airline industry.

Fall is when AVMA councils and committees convene to prepare for the November Executive Board session. But because of safety concerns, the Association postponed meetings of the Research and Education councils, and the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates scheduled at headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., the week of the attack.

Some AVMA officers and staff were unable to attend the American Association of Bovine Practitioners' meeting in Canada. Dr. Harmon Rogers, District XI representative to the AVMA Executive Board, drove from his Washington state home to Vancouver, B.C., to stand in for President James H. Brandt, who was prevented from attending. In addition, the AVMA was to participate in a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration's Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee in Maryland, but the meeting was rescheduled.

The following week, a handful of programs for new AVMA leaders were postponed, and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation Development Committee held a teleconference rather than convening in Schaumburg.

Shortly after the attacks, it was decided that the chairs of AVMA councils and committees would be responsible for deciding whether their particular groups would meet this fall as scheduled.