Concept for companion animal, equine research institute supported

Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old

The AVMA is supporting the concept of a national institute promoting companion animal and equine research. Executive Board members approved the idea recommended by the AVMA Council on Research for the Institute for Companion Animal and Equine Research, which the council says is a first step toward meeting a crucial need.

Dr. Henry E. Childers, AVMA immediate past president, voted in favor of the proposal, saying, "Research funding dedicated to companion animal medicine is virtually nonexistent. Part of the reason is no national organization is dedicated to this mission."

According to the COR, funding for health-related research dedicated to companion animals and horses is virtually nonexistent in comparison with research funding for human and livestock animal health. The $16 million annual national investment in companion animal and equine health research is estimated to be less than 0.12 percent of the annual gross sales of $13 billion by bio-pharma and companion animal food industries in 2005, the council stated.

The concept is for an institute that would, among other things, recommend and coordinate veterinary medical research; identify and recommend strategic alliances among groups within and outside of veterinary medicine to support and encourage research that advances animal and human health; and provide recommendations on research policies and priorities.

The council believes that the proposed concept statement provides an excellent first step in responding to the nation's crucial need for increased companion animal and horse health research.

The board also approved a $3,800 funding request for COR members Drs. Ann Hoehenhaus, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Animal Medical Center, and John Baker, associate director of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, to attend the Veterinarians in Biomedical Research Workshop, hosted by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges this August, and held in conjunction with the Merck-Merial Student Scholar Symposium.

The COR believes the two members' presence is consistent with the council's mission of supporting veterinary research, particularly encouraging students to pursue careers in veterinary and biomedical research.