Disaster and emergency issues committee approved

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The AVMA has established a Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues to help the Association take a lead role in addressing such issues as biosecurity, disease prevention, quarantine and isolation, eradication, defense measures, and sanitation.

The new committee will address the veterinarian's role in emergency and disaster issues; address the effects of disasters on animal health, public health, and the veterinary profession; contribute to the development of AVMA positions statements on disaster and emergency issues that affect the veterinary profession; and develop guidelines for veterinarians regarding various aspects of disaster situations.

The committee's tasks include identifying legislation and regulations relating to disaster issues that affect veterinarians; identifying veterinarians and other professionals with relevant expertise for presentations and other forums to help educate the veterinary profession regarding disaster-related topics and issues; coordinating with state officials and state veterinarians to develop and implement state disaster plans; and working with allied groups, agencies, and others to address established and emerging disaster issues affecting veterinarians, animals, and the public.

Eight veterinarians experienced in disaster preparedness and emergency issues will comprise the committee's membership. They will represent the following fields: the Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams, food animal practice, small animal practice, a federal or state public health agency, the Committee on Environmental Issues, poultry medicine, equine practice, and the armed services. There shall be liaisons from the Executive Board and American Veterinary Medical Foundation Board of Directors.