August 15, 2004

A federal statute aimed at curbing violence by animal rights extremists is ineffective against new strategies of targeting customers, employees, and vendors of companies using animals for research and other purposes. Moreover, violent rhetoric and actions by some elements within the U.S. animal rights movement have recently escalated. Extremists bombed two northern California companies last year and have threatened to assassinate researchers, corporate officers, and employees. Such were the observations of federal law enforcement, research, and restaurant industry officials testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The subject of the May 18 hearing was the emergence of an animal rights activism that prefers pipe bombs and intimidati ...

AVMA News

Why was it important for the AVMA Executive Board to approve creation of the Task Force on the Legal Status of Animals? Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver, 2004-2005 AVMA president, responds: Legal matters pertaining to pet ownership and an animal's value are extremely important to animal owners, veterinarians, and anyone else who deals with animals in one form or another. It's important for the AVMA to show leadership in this area by developing scientifically based consensus statements that will inform discussion on these areas. What issues would you like to see the task force address? The task force will study the legal ramifications of pet guardianship and recovery of noneconomic damages for the injury, loss, or death of a pet. It will present its fin ...

Global Issues

O.I.E. takes action at annual meeting Agency acts on measures involving BSE, zoonoses, animal welfare, and the disease notification system In late May, representatives from the governments of 139 countries gathered at the Office International des Epizooties annual meeting in Paris to discuss a diverse array of topics. Veterinarians should take note of several highlights; the OIE created an ad hoc group to advise on zoonoses, restructured the disease notification system, adopted animal welfare principles, and made changes to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy standards. Addressing zoonoses Dr. Lonnie King, dean of Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, delivered the technical presentation that led to the creation of th ...

Government

Special pesticide formulations Veterinarians must follow EPA rules The Environmental Protection Agency allows veterinarians to mix special pesticide formulations to meet unique case-specific needs, as long as they meet labeling and other safety requirements. Veterinary use, production, and dispensation of pesticides are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency under the authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. To ensure that veterinarians are aware of their responsibilities under FIFRA, the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents is working with the EPA to educate veterinarians on this topic. This story is the fourth in a four-part series outlining veterinarians' responsibilities under FIFRA, and ...

Public Health

CDC: Rabies transmitted through organ donation Veterinarians urged to remain vigilant The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first cases of rabies transmission through the donation of whole organs. On June 30, the CDC confirmed diagnoses of rabies in three organ recipients and their common donor. On July 8, physicians at Baylor University Medical Center announced during a press conference that a fourth patient had died after receiving part of an artery from the infected donor and a liver from a separate donor. These cases mark the first time the disease has been transmitted through the transplantation of solid organs, according to the CDC. Previously, eight cases of rabies transmission through transplanted ...

Take Notice

Agencies invite comment on proposed BSE safeguards Three federal agencies have issued an advance notice of proposed rule making to solicit comments on measures under consideration to strengthen safeguards to protect U.S. cattle and consumers against bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The July 14 Federal Register carried the advance notice and two related notices. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced the documents July 9. The joint notice from the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Food and Drug Administration asks for public comment and provides a report on the work of the international ...

Wildlife

Manatee research leads to new questions Over the past three years, an interdisciplinary team of veterinarians and physicians studying an emergent papillomavirus in manatees have sequenced the genome of the virus, developed an experimental vaccine, and created a new diagnostic test. Some of their discoveries have led to new questions about the origins of the disease, and the environmental factors causing it to emerge. The emergence of a papillomavirus in a population of manatees at the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park has generated concern from conservationists who fear it could compromise the future of this already endangered species. It has also sparked the interest of researchers studying papillomaviruses in humans and other animals. ...