The AVMA Executive Board approved position statements on animal research and stem cells.
Developed by the Council on Research, an AVMA Position Statement on Research for Healthy Animals 2010 was approved by the board. The council developed the position statement after reviewing recently released publications from the National Academies, including two that were sponsored by the AVMA: "Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science" and "National Need and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Research." The council believes the AVMA position statement will continue the Association's commitment to advancing veterinary research, and will support or expand on the recommendations that were made in the publication on critical needs for research (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2005).
The COR also believes the position statement could serve as a starting point to create an AVMA-led national initiative that will have future impact on the veterinary profession's service to animal health and welfare. The COR borrowed "Healthy Animals 2010" from "Healthy People 2010," a national action plan managed by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Human Services.
A portion of the position statement reads: "Society now demands our forward-thinking profession take on an expanded scope capable of serving local and global populations of animals, people, and wildlife. Accomplishing this will require greater emphasis on elucidating the basic biology and mechanisms of disease, increasing diagnostic and therapeutic accuracy and precision, and implementing rational disease prevention and avoidance strategies." For a copy of the complete position statement, log on to avma.org/issues/policy/healthy_animals.asp.
The board also approved an AVMA Position Statement on Stem Cells. The position statement was recommended by the COR and was developed to recognize the value of research performed using animal stem cells, while at the same time, maintaining the AVMA's commitment to animal welfare. The position states: "The AVMA fully supports and encourages the ethical study and use of animal stem cells for the benefit of animal and human health."
The COR believes that existing federal guidelines and regulations governing the use of stem cells, along with federal laws protecting animal welfare, are necessary and sufficient to regulating the use of stem cells for research purposes. Click here to view the complete statement on stem cells.