Board passes agriculture-related proposals

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During its April meeting, the Executive Board considered a handful of recommendations from the Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee, ranging in topics from food supply veterinary medicine to antimicrobials to biotechnology.

The AVMA will establish a Web presence to serve as a clearinghouse for publishing initiatives that increase interest and participation in food supply veterinary medicine.

The AVMA has invested considerable resources in analyzing the current status and future needs of food supply veterinarians. According to the committee, various other groups have developed initiatives to promote interest and participation in the field. Currently, there is no centralized communication vehicle for stakeholders to share information on various programs under way. The AALC believes the AVMA is the appropriate entity to track these initiatives and make information readily accessible to all stakeholders.

The board also approved revising or rescinding several AVMA polices.

Related to antimicrobials, the board approved revisions to the policy "Antimicrobials in livestock feed." The revisions strengthen and clarify AVMA's assessment of antimicrobials in livestock feed and emphasize that antimicrobials administered to food animals are approved by the Food and Drug Administration; the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System exists; and risk analysis on all targeted antimicrobials is more appropriate than risk prioritization. The policy also familiarizes readers with specific quality assurance programs.

An overarching policy on "Use of biotechnology in veterinary medicine and animal agriculture" was approved by the board. Subsequent to the convening of a joint AALC/Council on Research subcommittee that examined the AVMA policies concerning biotechnology, the AALC believed that an overarching policy would serve the Association well. The board then rescinded two policies, "Derived veterinary medicinal products" and "Food production biotechnology," which became redundant after the overarching policy passed.

The board approved revisions to the newly titled AVMA policy "The role of the veterinary profession in national, state and local emergencies," which was previously called Animal Health Care in Emergencies. The AALC believes the revisions are appropriate for future emergency responses involving the profession, other entities, and all animal species. The committee was in correspondence with the Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues, Animal Welfare Committee, Committee on the Human-Animal Bond, and Committee on Environmental Issues.

Also of note, the board approved the membership of the Academy of Rural Veterinarians on the AALC. The mission of the ARV is to be proactive and provide information to encourage interest in the rewards of veterinary practice in rural America. The AALC believes that including an ARV representative would help the AVMA in its deliberation of possible actions to address the shortage of food supply veterinarians. More than 150 members belong to the ARV and seven directors oversee the organization's governance.