Committee to provide leadership on international affairs

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Leadership of the AVMA will soon have more knowledge of international veterinary happenings. The AVMA Executive Board has approved the establishment of a Committee on International Veterinary Affairs.

The Council on Education and former AVMA president James E. Nave, the AVMA globalization monitoring agent, submitted the recommendation. The cost to the AVMA will be $10,000, with $8,000 from the 2007 contingency budget and ongoing costs from future budgets.

The committee charge is "to study global issues affecting the AVMA in areas such as the role of the Association in international affairs, forming partnerships in influencing the potential disruption of food supplies, accreditation of veterinary education, and other evolving international matters arising, and recommend to the board courses of action in international affairs of the Association."

The board amended the recommendation to include five individuals on the committee, instead of eight. Two individuals from the Council on Education, one from the board, one from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and the AVMA globalization monitoring agent will serve on the committee. The agent will serve as chair and will report the committee's activities at each board meeting.

In a memorandum to the board, the Governance Performance Review Committee reported that while the recommendation did have merit, its approval may be premature, and that there may be a need for additional members such as representation in the areas of animal welfare, environmental issues, antimicrobial issues, and others. This may become more apparent after all AVMA entities have an opportunity to view the proposed committee membership, the group noted.

Currently, the AVMA participates in a number of global initiatives, including the World Veterinary Association, the Panamerican Association of Veterinary Sciences, and accreditation of foreign veterinary colleges. The AVMA globalization monitoring agent provides the board with reports of global activities but, according to the recommendation, a need for expanded expertise and activity was identified.

In a memorandum to the board, the Task Force on Veterinary Infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan had also reported the need for an overarching mechanism by which the U.S. veterinary profession can address global issues related to animal health and veterinary education.