Report on Iraq and Afghanistan comes forward

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At its November meeting, the AVMA Executive Board received as information a report from the Task Force on Veterinary Infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report offers suggestions on how the AVMA and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges could assist in rebuilding the veterinary infrastructures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the report, the task force stated that pertinent knowledge of veterinary medical practice and education are the most important contributions the AVMA and AAVMC have to offer the two countries. The AVMA can contribute entrepreneurial skills for the provision of essential services through veterinary-related businesses, the task force reported, and the AAVMC can contribute curricular, pedagogic, and research expertise for the countries' universities. The task force outlined specific steps the AVMA and AAVMC could take to enhance the curricular, human resources, and professional development in both countries. The task force also suggested potential sources for generating funds.

While completing the report, the task force realized the need for an overarching mechanism for the U.S. veterinary profession to address the increasingly global nature of veterinary medicine, particularly in the areas of educational, informational, and operational needs.

In a separate recommendation, the board approved sending the report to the AVMA/AAVMC Joint Committee and requesting that the committee explore the issue of the globalization of veterinary medicine.

In November 2004, the board approved establishing the task force and agreed to sunset it at the report's completion (see JAVMA, Jan. 15, 2005). Both recommendations brought forward at the November meeting resulted in discussion among the board members as to how the AVMA will ensure coordination of future efforts related to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as global efforts in veterinary medicine.