Addressing the role of veterinary medicine in human health care following catastrophes involving mass human casualty


Veterinarians are increasingly serving an integral role in emergency and disaster response and management. The One Health/One Medicine Initiative demonstrates the importance and ties that medical professionals have in preserving the health and well-being of all species. Members of the veterinary profession possess medical skills and surgical capabilities that could greatly contribute to reducing human loss of life or limb and human suffering in a catastrophic event that overwhelms the human health care infrastructure. During a catastrophic event, the veterinarian's training and capability in emergency management, wound care/treatment, pharmaceutical and medical supplies, and knowledge of population and public health can be used to augment the capacity of the human healthcare system.

The AVMA encourages state and national authorities to address licensing, liability, policy and other related issues to adequately recognize and validate the opportunity and benefits of utilizing veterinarians as a supplementary source of knowledge and skills for human health care during mass casualty and other events following catastrophic emergency response situations.

Related policy

One Health