Board acts on public health, regulatory medicine-related recommendations

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The Executive Board took a number of actions on recommendation from the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine, including revising or reaffirming policies, approving liaison relationships, and co-sponsoring a conference.

The board approved a revised policy on Zoonotic Disease Education. The council believed the existing policy was outdated. One key revision will allow the policy to be applicable to zoonotic disease education programs beyond those conducted by Iowa State University.

Next, the board approved a revised Policy on Tuberculosis Eradication. The policy states the following:

Tuberculosis Eradication

The AVMA supports efforts to intensify and complete tuberculosis eradication in cattle and cervids. To aid this effort the AVMA encourages the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and public and private organizations to develop and make available appropriate diagnostic procedures and reagents to test all species of animals for tuberculosis.

In the background to the recommendation, the council reported it believes that the development of appropriate diagnostic procedures and reagents are essential to adequately support active surveillance and monitoring and to intensify efforts in tuberculosis eradication in cattle and cervids. On a separate recommendation, the board rescinded the AVMA Policy on Tuberculosis Diagnostics because it is incorporated into the new policy.

The AVMA Policy on Johne's Disease was also revised. The following phrase was added to the policy: "To that end the AVMA supports active pursuit of maximum and sustained funding to effectively support the USDA Johne's National Control Program."

In the background, the council stated it believes the AVMA should actively pursue maximal and sustained federal appropriations for the USDA program to fully support veterinary and producer education, research, laboratory capabilities, diagnostics, and risk analyses for Johne's disease.

In addition, the board revised the policy on the Model Rabies Control Ordinance. Previously, the policy stated that the certificate shall include a microchip number. The council recommended adding "if applicable" to avoid the potential of an assumption that all rabies-vaccinated animals must also be microchipped.

The board approved reaffirming the policies on Bovine Brucellosis, National Zoonotic Infectious Disease Surveillance, Swine Brucellosis, and National Poultry Improvement Plan.

All of those revised or reaffirmed policies are available on the AVMA Web site.

The board approved the establishment of a liaison to the National Poultry Improvement Plan. Dr. Donald E. Hoenig, Belfast, Maine, was appointed to that position. A liaison relationship was also established for the Environmental Protection Agency's Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee. Dr. Billy Clay has been nominated to serve in that capacity.

Also of note, the board approved AVMA co-sponsorship of the sixth International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases, to be held in Atlanta, March 16-19, 2008. AVMA has previously co-sponsored the event.