February 15, 2004

ince bovine spongiform encephalopathy was diagnosed in Washington state in December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been "operating out of an abundance of caution" with regard to public and animal safety, said Dr. Ron DeHaven, the USDA's chief veterinary officer. Dr. DeHaven spoke at the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference in Chicago on Jan. 11 about the ongoing epidemiologic investigation occurring on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border. Agriculture officials are trying to determine the source of the contaminated feed and whether other animals were infected. "We know that even in countries with a high prevalence of the disease, most notably the United Kingdom, it is very rare for there to be more than one or two ...

AVMA News

House of Delegates proceedings accessible online The proceedings of the 2003 AVMA House of Delegates have been posted online. The HOD held its 140th annual session July 18-19 in Denver. AVMA members can access them from the Member Center page, www.avma.org/noah/members/default.asp. ...

Disaster Management

Maryland VMAT team commander needed The AVMA is looking for a dedicated volunteer to lead the Maryland Veterinary Medical Assistance Team as the VMAT-2 team commander. These highly trained teams of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, other medical and academic professionals, and support personnel respond to disasters and animal health emergencies. Their mission is to assist the local veterinary community with the care of animals and to provide veterinary oversight and advice concerning animal-related issues and public health, during a disaster or following a request from an appropriate agency. The team commander is responsible for managing and supervising all the operational and managerial aspects of disaster missions. Besides supervisin ...

Research

Genome roundup Researchers make strides in genome sequencing This past December, scientists completed a first draft of the genome sequence of the chimpanzee. This ape joins a handful of other animals whose genomes were sequenced in 2003, and several more sequence maps are expected in 2004. The chimpanzee sequencing was performed at the Washington University School of Medicine and Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Harvard University Eli & Edythe Broad Institute, formerly the Whitehead Institute. The map covers approximately 90 percent of the animal's genome. Since chimpanzees are the species most closely related to humans, scientists are eagerly anticipating the results from a comparative analysis of the two genomes. The comparison m ...

Take Notice

USDA-APHIS teams up with states to test electronic certificates of inspection The Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is working with six states—California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin—to test an electronic Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. The pilot program uses the existing paper-based interstate inspection certificate process as framework, according to the USDA. Instead of filling out paper certificates, however, accredited veterinarians in the participating states have the option of using the Web-based certificate. The electronic certificate—an online version of the standard certificate of veterin ...

Washington Veterinary News

Horse slaughter bill making waves Legislation that would prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption is making waves and has generated numerous calls to the AVMA Governmental Relations Division Office in Washington, D.C., as well as AVMA headquarters. New York Rep. John Sweeney introduced the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, H.R. 857, on Feb. 13, 2003. The legislation has been in the House Subcommittee on Trade since March 3, 2003. Both the AVMA and American Association of Equine Practitioners have voiced their opposition to the bill ( see JAVMA , Aug. 15, 2003 , page 419 , and Jan. 15, 2004 , page 185 ). "The proposed legislation, as written, could actually result in less humane treatment of these horses," said ...