May 15, 2004

President Jack O. Walther told a Senate subcommittee that chronic wasting disease threatens the nation's deer and elk herds and that Congress should fund state surveillance programs to determine whether the disease exists within their borders. "The extent of testing and surveillance that is needed now and for the foreseeable future exceeds resources available to state departments of natural resources and tribal organizations," Dr. Walther said. "Financial support from the federal government will be required to comprehensibly and effectively test wild elk and deer populations." The AVMA president made his comments to the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water during an April 6 hearing on the Chronic Wasting ...

Animal Welfare

In recent years, individuals involved in animal agriculture have become concerned that the public is increasingly questioning the welfare of food animals. Newspapers run stories criticizing the use of sow gestation crates, and legislators introduce bills aimed at controlling what they see as inappropriate farm practices. In late March, veterinarians, government officials, humane representatives, and agriculture industry stakeholders gathered at a meeting of the Animal Agriculture Alliance in Arlington, Va., to discuss issues surrounding the state of animal welfare and public perception. "Consumers are moving further away from the farm," said Charlie Arnot, chairman of the Animal Agriculture Alliance and vice president of Premium S ...

AVMA News

Two AVMA presidents discuss the symbiotic relationship between corporate partners and the veterinary profession.

College News

College takes measures to create more food animal veterinarians For some time now, there has been a growing concern over a shortage of food supply veterinarians. To address the problem, the University of Minnesota is taking several steps, including launching a novel program called the Veterinary Food Animal Scholars Program or VetFAST. Dr. Scott Dee, an associate professor at the Swine Disease Eradication Center at Minnesota and chair of the college's admissions committee, says the school started actively recruiting students for VetFAST roughly a year ago. Freshmen entering the science and agriculture program at the University of Minnesota have the option of enrolling to be on the fast track to becoming food supply veterinarians. They can r ...

Human-Animal Bond

Legislation before the New York State Legislature would establish the right to sue for the wrongful death or injury of a pet.

International Veterinary Medicine

New Web site is guide to 2005 World Veterinary Congress in Minneapolis Next year, the AVMA will host the 28th Congress of the World Veterinary Association, July 16-20 in Minneapolis. The 142nd AVMA Annual Meeting will be held simultaneously in Minneapolis. Since the congress was started in 1863, it has been held in the United States only once before—in New York City in 1934. A new Web site is now online providing information about the 2005 World Veterinary Congress: www.wvc2005.org . Currently posted are a general congress schedule, literature about Minneapolis, and travel information for international visitors. The site will continually be updated with new material. ...

Swine

Guiding producer clients through crises An extension livestock economist told members of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians that producers are as depressed as he has ever seen them. "1998 hit like a shock," said John Lawrence, PhD, of Iowa State University. They had good years in 2000 and 2001 but not in 1999 and 2002. Dr. Lawrence spoke March 9 during the 35th annual meeting of the AASV in Des Moines, Iowa. How can swine veterinarians help producers make the best long-term decisions? Producers are faced with the decision of whether to stay in business or start an exit strategy, Dr. Lawrence said. Those who stay the course must reduce costs and increase revenue. Reducing costs can involve rethinking the production and ...

Take Notice

Human rabies vaccine recalled Aventis Pasteur has recalled four lots of IMOVAX rabies vaccine because of a potential public health threat. During a recent quality assurance test of the inactivated viral vaccine, the manufacturer detected the presence of live Pitman-Moore virus in a single lot. The contaminated lot was not distributed, but as a precautionary measure, four lots produced concurrently were recalled. Those lots were distributed in the United States from Sept. 23, 2003, to April 2, 2004, and were numbered X0667-2, X0667-3, W1419-2, and W1419-3. Additional lots were distributed internationally, and the manufacturer is working with regulatory authorities to trace those lots. According to the national Centers for Disease Control and ...

Washington Veterinary News

Small Business Administration's 7(a) loan guaranty program restored The AVMA and other members of the Small Business Access to Capital Coalition recently claimed a legislative victory by restoring a business loan guaranty program that has been vital to the prosperity of veterinarians. Unprecedented demand from small businesses seeking Small Business Administration 7(a) loans during 2003 resulted in the SBA placing restrictions on loan availability. Early in 2004, the agency set a cap of $750,000 on SBA-guarantied loans and withdrew the option of being able to piggyback loans by combining commercial loans with government-backed loans. As the year progressed, the loan guarantee was lowered further to a maximum of $562,000. The ability of vete ...