AVMA makes policy changes

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Jan 12, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Schaumberg, Ill. -- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) executive board has been busy this winter, addressing many issues and urging the creation of a central vaccine safety reporting system.

Services

Some recommendations approved by the board in relation to veterinary services include the revised Companion Animal Care Guidelines, developed by the Committee on the Human-Animal Bond, and the revised Policy on Ethylene Glycol, which strengthens warnings on bottles containing methyl alcohol. The board also voted not to renew a contract with Veterinary Medical Databases, which will save about $20,000 per year, and renamed the Standard Processes for the Approval of Diagnostic Tests, Test Methods, Reference Materials, Reagents and Diagnostic Laboratories as the Standardization of Diagnostic Procedures and Pathogen Identification in Animal Diseases policy to more clearly convey its intent. Minor changes also were made to policies concerning employee pregnancy and hazards in the workplace, as well.

Drugs

The executive board also stated that it supports increased Congressional funding of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine for the New Animal Drug Application Approval Process and says it supports user fees for new animal drug applications only if fees are directed toward developing a quicker review and approval process.

Also, in relation to animal drugs, the AVMA says it urges the FDA to consider the balance of a drug's risk against the benefit it provides and the impact its withdrawal could have before removing any animal drugs from the marketplace.

A central vaccine safety reporting system also should be a top priority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, according to the executive board.

Additionally, the executive board rescinded the AVMA's liaison to the Animal Health Institute and to the Environmental Protection Agency's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, but continued collaboration outside the formal relationship is encouraged.

Public health

A new general policy called simply "Rabies" also was approved, while the board rescinded six other rabies-related policies. The general policy now encompasses all aspects of the disease. Participation in a number of collaborations with organizations that promote the human/animal health relationship also were approved by the board, including partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Healthy People 2010 initiative.

Aquatic medicine

The executive board also released a charge to advocate more veterinary participation in aquatic animal health and to study how involved veterinarians currently are in aquatic animal health programs, as well as how they might become more involved in the future. A policy on antimicrobial use in all aquatic animals, not only the ones produced for food, also was adopted by the board.

Food safety

Food-production issues also were addressed by the board, which encourages more veterinary participation in several food-safety areas like organics. Several language changes were made to other policies to make their original intentions more clear, as well.

Click here to review the full list of executive board actions.