April 15, 2013

Livestock breeding has followed narrow lines to improve production, and dozens of breeds have fallen out of favor. The Swiss Village Farm Foundation, a privately funded organization in Rhode Island, and Tufts University are working to create a genetic library for livestock, similar to a seed bank.

AVMA

Early this March, 65 veterinary students participated in the 5th Annual AVMA/Student AVMA Legislative Visit hosted by the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. Against a backdrop of partisan wrangling over the sequestration, students took to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of their profession and the animals they serve.

Issues

The Food and Drug Administration, with co-sponsorship from the Department of Agriculture, is hosting meetings through June to give livestock owners, veterinarians, and other members of the public opportunities to talk about the need to increase veterinarian oversight of antimicrobial use. The FDA is determining how to promote judicious antimicrobial use, realizing that changing antimicrobial availability could cause difficulties for livestock owners who lack access to veterinary services.

Practice

Dr. Craig J. Rowles said veterinarians who work with swine can benefit by taking time to note that the purpose of their work—serving their clients and society as stated in the Veterinarian’s Oath—remains the same as it was when they became veterinarians. He delivered that message during the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. In another presentation, Dr. John A. Korslund with the Department of Agriculture indicated federal swine influenza surveillance and research are helping provide updated diagnostic tests and vaccine virus candidates as well as revealing increasing diversity among H3 influenza viruses.

Community

Nearly 14,500 people gathered in Las Vegas this February to attend The Dr. Jack Walther 85th Annual Western Veterinary Conference, held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. A rare show of appreciation, naming the conference after an individual has been done only six times. Dr. Walther, the WVC clinical proficiency coordinator, has attended the conference for more than four decades. “My first visit to WVC occurred in 1965, and I have never missed a conference since,” he said.