January 15, 2012

A movement is promoting the one-health concept—that human, animal, and ecosystem health intertwine to make "one health"—and an accompanying one-health approach involving collaboration among the health professions and relevant associated disciplines to improve health locally and globally. Organizations backing the one-health approach range from the One Health Commission and the One Health Initiative website to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the National League of Cities.

AVMA

The AVMA and the National Sea Grant Office are trying to reduce environmental contamination associated with unused pharmaceuticals and to educate the public on the risks of improperly storing or disposing of drugs. Water contamination can occur, for example, when medications are flushed down drains or dumped into trash bags intended to go to landfills.

Issues

An appellate court ruled that dogs have special value that should be protected and that dog owners should be able to recover sentimental damages if a pet is wrongly euthanized. The Texas VMA and AVMA were among organizations opposed to the ruling because of concerns that liability for pain and suffering claims could increase pet care costs, which could, in turn, end up hurting animals whose owners were no longer able to afford veterinary care.

Practice

The American Association of Equine Practitioners announced its new strategic plan during the group's annual convention Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas. The AAEP's three new goals for 2012-2015, which were approved by its board of directors this past July, will be to reposition equine veterinarians as primary health care providers for horses, continue to improve the association's continuing education offerings, and institute governance changes.

Community

Dr. Sarah Babcock has provided expertise for Senate proceedings on international trade, nonprofit organizations, and tax reform as well as helped develop strategies for deficit reduction. The former AVMA Executive Branch Science Fellow, who has earned veterinary and law degrees, was temporarily assigned to a fellowship with the Brookings Institution, the public policy organization that helped her become a staffer on the Senate Committee on Finance.