Board acts on welfare-related proposals

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The Executive Board approved two recommendations from the Animal Welfare Committee relating to racehorses and the committee itself. 
The AWC proposed AVMA endorsement of the American Association of Equine Practitioners' revised policy "Therapeutic Medications in Racehorses." The AVMA endorsed the AAEP's original policy in 2001 and again in 2007.

The AAEP representative on the AWC recently advised the committee that the AAEP policy had been updated in 2009 to reference Racing and Medication Testing Consortium guidelines.

After careful review of the revised policy and consideration of the guidelines developed by the Racing and Medication Testing Consortium, committee members concluded the content of the revised AAEP policy was appropriate and that continued endorsement was justified.

The AWC also asked the board to approve a number of changes to the committee's description. Most notably, the committee recommended officially adding two Department of Agriculture officials to the list of representatives invited to attend AWC meetings. Those new representatives are the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's farm animal welfare coordinator and the Food Safety and Inspection Service's humane handling enforcement coordinator.

The USDA has recently appointed individuals to these two positions, whose primary responsibility is to address animal welfare issues. The AWC explained to the Executive Board that it wanted to establish an opportunity for these individuals to participate in committee meetings.