Board approves Howell's recommendations

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The Executive Board approved five recommendations made by AVMA president Dr. Joe M. Howell. They involve serving the needs of women in veterinary practice, supporting the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, improving public relations, studying the impact of animal rights groups, and establishing a joint committee of the AVMA and American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives.

Dr. Howell recommended that the Council on Veterinary Service and the Member Services Committee review and study the needs of women in the veterinary profession and submit to the board recommendations on how to best serve the increasingly diverse profession.

He also recommended that the AVMA send a letter of continuing support to the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. See related article, page 131.

Dr. Howell charged the Council on Public Relations with reviewing the public perception of veterinarians in light of the rising cost of veterinary care and propose ways to maintain the positive relationship with the public the profession enjoys, while meeting the economic needs of future veterinarians.

He also charged the Animal Welfare Committee, Legislative Advisory Committee, and the Council on Public Relations with working together to study the influences of animal rights/animal protection groups on legislative, legal, and consumer attitudes and activities related to animal care and use. The committees and council were also asked to identify issues the AVMA should address and recommend a cohesive plan for responding to those issues. The goal is to have veterinarians continue to be recognized as the ultimate animal welfare authorities.

"We need to be looking ahead at how we are perceived by the public," Dr. Howell said. "We need to make sure the delineation of animal rights and animal welfare is very clear."

In his only recommendation with a cost attached, Dr. Howell asked the board to establish an AVMA/American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives Joint Committee. The purpose will be to provide a venue for sharing information, discussing emerging issues and other matters of mutual interest, and coordinating efforts and actions to ensure continued delivery of exemplary service to AVMA members. The board approved it at a cost of $5,000 a year. Dr. Howell said the state associations are an important means of reaching AVMA members, saying, "We need this type of alliance."