USDA vies to change veterinary accreditation program

USDA vies to change veterinary accreditation program

Oct 01, 2006
By staff

WASHINGTON — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to amend regulations regarding the National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP) to establish new categories, add training and renewal requirements and offer accreditation specializations.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS), administers NVAP and its mission to ensure the health of the nations' livestock and animal population and to protect the public health and well-being. The voluntary program certifies private veterinary practitioners to work cooperatively with federal veterinarians and state animal health officials, agency officials say. More than 60,000 active accredited veterinarians are in the national database.

The proposed rule suggests a two-tiered system where Category I veterinarians are authorized to perform accredited duties on companion animals only. Veterinarians would be authorized to perform accredited duties on all species to include poultry, equines and livestock under Category II. The current system allows DVMs to perform duties on all species.

The proposed changes would increase the level of training and skill of accredited veterinarians in the areas of disease prevention and preparedness for animal health emergencies in the United States, APHIS officials say.