AVMA reaffirms commitment to fighting bioterrorism, providing disaster aid

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The Executive Board reaffirmed the commitment of the AVMA to aid the American National Red Cross in disaster and emergency relief efforts by agreeing to re-sign the statement of understanding between the AVMA/AVMF and the American National Red Cross. The agreement requires that each party re-sign every five years.

The board approved travel for a consultant to provide a presentation and advice to the AVMA Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues regarding bioterrorism at the committee's meeting in early February. Although the new committee's collective knowledge of bioterrorism is considerable, it is seeking the expertise to determine the scope and priority of issues it should pursue. The consultant will be a veterinarian who is recognized as a terrorism expert.

To encourage the government to provide more information to veterinarians on biodefense, the AVMA and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges are jointly sending a letter of support to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture encouraging the agencies to develop and distribute information on biodefense to veterinarians.