American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Merck Animal Health donate to Turkey, Syria to aid earthquake relief for veterinarians and animals

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) April 5, 2023—The American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Merck Animal Health today announced $100,000 in funding to support disaster relief for veterinarians and animals affected by February's devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

The AVMF, the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and Merck Animal Health, a research-driven company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of veterinary medicines and services that advance animal healthcare, will each contribute $50,000 to relief efforts as Turkey and Syria continue recovery efforts from the deadly earthquakes which claimed more than 50,000 lives.

With shelters overwhelmed and veterinary care and supplies limited, the veterinary community's ability to care for animals, including livestock critical to the food supply, has been severely impacted.

"A disaster of this magnitude requires an international response, and we are very grateful to Merck Animal Health for joining with us in offering support to our colleagues and the people of Turkey and Syria who have experienced such suffering," said Dr. José Arce, chair of the AVMF and immediate past president of the AVMA.

"We stand united with the people and pets of Turkey and Syria who are facing a humanitarian crisis after the recent devastating earthquakes," said Dr. Christine Royal, VP of the U.S. Companion Animal & Equine Business Unit, Merck Animal Health. "We are proud to team up with the AVMF and support the relief efforts, and hope these funds go a long way in protecting the health and welfare of animals and their caretakers who are still recovering from this terrible disaster."

Dr. Murat Arslan, president of the Turkish Veterinary Medical Association, indicated that 90 percent of the veterinary clinics in the region struck by the two massive quakes on February 6 were destroyed.

"We lost many of our colleagues and their families," he said. "We will make a great effort to reconstruct the clinics here."

Initial plans call for the AVMF/Merck funding to be provided to the Turkish Veterinary Medical Association and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which are already working with organizations on the ground in both Turkey and Syria. Other charities may be added as the situation evolves.

About Merck Animal Health

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than a century, we've been at the forefront of research, bringing forward medicines, vaccines and innovative health solutions for the world's most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of connected technology that includes identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the American Veterinary Medical Foundation

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) is the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. For almost 60 years, the AVMF has been dedicated to developing resources to advance the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health. Foundation programs and activities are designed to benefit veterinary medicine, promote animal welfare, and enhance research so that the profession is better prepared to deal with difficult problems facing animal health today and tomorrow. Charitable contributions and support to the Foundation assist veterinarians and the entire veterinary healthcare team help animals. Our funding priorities include Education, Disaster Relief, Crisis Support, Charitable Veterinary Care and Animal Health Research.

About the AVMA

Serving more than 105,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.