Board considers antimicrobial committee, adjusts policies

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The AVMA may create a committee focused on developing policies on antimicrobial resistance and administration.

During an April 7-9 meeting, members of the AVMA Board of Directors debated whether the Association’s antimicrobial-related deliberations should remain divided among existing committees—such as those addressing therapeutic agents, food safety, and public health—or a single group that could coordinate policies. They also questioned whether such a single group should have a brief or long-standing tenure.

The Board members voted against the proposal to create such an entity, but they indicated the AVMA Board of Governors would discuss the issue in advance of further consideration by the directors in June.The discussion in April included comments about the potential benefits of such a committee’s institutional knowledge, the commitment it could demonstrate toward addressing antimicrobial resistance, and resistance some existing AVMA committees may have to ceding control over antimicrobial-related issues.

Board members also voted to approve changes to policies on antimicrobial use in livestock, stating that veterinarians should lead decision-making processes on antimicrobial use rather than merely being involved, as well as clarifying that the AVMA sees “the availability of antimicrobials for use in food-producing animals” as essential for food safety.