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Book Reviews: For Your Library

Avian Influenza

Reviewed by Timothy S. Cummings, MS, DVM, DACPV

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Avian Influenza is a keeper. The book was commissioned by the American Association of Avian Pathologists to be a comprehensive reference source on avian influenza for those who work with poultry health needs, including veterinarians, researchers, and government health officials. The text is definitely successful in fulfilling this mission, and it does so in a number of ways.

First, the book is edited by an expert on avian influenza, who had a multitude of distinguished and internationally known experts contribute to the various chapters. The book systematically covers the multitude of facets on avian influenza, such as history, biology, epidemiology, pathology, diagnostics, control, prevention, public health implications, economics, and trade impacts. Each chapter provides a collection of comprehensive, referenced information concerning lessons learned over the decades in dealing with avian influenza. It does all of this in a practical way by translating the latest basic science into clinical applications for field settings. Lastly, it is the first book to cover the disease from a purely poultry perspective rather than a human perspective.

Although there are plenty of scientific proceedings from conferences and other good books on poultry diseases that dedicate chapters to avian influenza, this textbook is likely destined to become the bible on avian influenza. For those looking for a single, exhaustive reference to help educate or train individuals in dealing with avian influenza, this will be money well spent.—By David E. Swayne. 605 pages; illustrated. Wiley-Blackwell, 2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014-8300. ISBN 978-0-8138-2047-7. 2008. Price $149.99.

Veterinary Medicines in the Environment

Reviewed by E. Murl Bailey Jr, DVM, PhD, DABVT

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Veterinary Medicines in the Environment is a compilation of a series of reports given at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Pellston Workshop on Veterinary Medicines in the Environment at Pensacola, Fla, on February 12 through 16, 2006. The thrust of this book is directed toward identifying or developing methods to make more uniform environmental risk assessments of veterinary pharmaceuticals and chemicals as required for many of the regulatory agencies in various countries. Although this book is well written and contains much information, it is directed toward graduate students and professionals in the field of environmental science with an interest in veterinary medicines in the environment, not toward practicing veterinarians.

Veterinarians in regulatory agencies may find it useful as a background reference when examining environmental risk assessment data provided by drug or chemical sponsors. I would not recommend this book for most veterinarians' bookshelves.—By Mark Crane, Alistair B. A. Boxall, & Katie Barrett. 196 pages; illustrated. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 6000 Broken Sound Pkwy NW, Ste 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487-2742. ISBN 978-4200-8424-5. 2008. Price $120.00.

Assessing the Human-Animal Bond: A Compendium of Actual Measures (New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond Series)

Reviewed by Rebecca Ruch-Gallie, DVM, MS

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Assessing the Human-Animal Bond: A Compendium of Actual Measures is a useful resource for anyone actively doing research on the human-animal bond. It is a compilation of > 20 tools commonly used for measuring the bond. Readers are provided with the measure as well as references for its development, validation (when available), and subsequent uses and a brief paragraph describing its intended application. Two alphabetic indices provide an author list and a measure list. The measure list includes references and sources for related measures not available in the text. A third index is a compilation of articles written or sponsored by Aline H. Kidd and Robert M. Kidd, who were pioneers in this field. This reference is not intended to provide tools for measuring human attitudes toward animals or appropriate analysis and interpretation of the measures provided, so it cannot be the sole resource for researchers new to the field. However, it is an excellent user-friendly and time-saving resource for human-animal bond researchers.—By David C. Anderson. 146 pages; illustrated. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, IN 47907. ISBN 978-1-55753-424-8. 2007. Price $39.95.

The Animal Research War

Reviewed by Kenneth R. Boschert, DVM, DACLAM

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The authors provide a succinct and helpful overview of animal rights extremism and how these elements within society impact multiple facets of human and veterinary medicine. Although at first glance it would appear that the main audience for The Animal Research War would be those involved in animal research, there is a lot of discussion relevant for practicing veterinarians and the general public. This includes contemporary issues such as animal legal standing, animal owners versus guardians, the proliferation of animal law and lawyers, impact on veterinary students and their training, attacks on food supplies, and bioterrorism.

The authors know their subject all too well. Both were employed by the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and Dr. Conn was the target of an animal rights campaign intent on destroying his research career. Throughout the book, Dr. Conn provides insight into the mindset of animal rights groups and his personal experiences as a target. The remainder of the book provides a brief history of animal rights and welfare groups, current strategies, and the impacts and outcomes if such protest efforts are unchecked.

The take-home message of the book for people who work in the biomedical field, as well as those who interact with animals in clinical practice, is that we are all potential victims of this war on animal research. Countless veterinary procedures and products were initially performed in animals to provide uses for human medicine, but they were eventually modified and adapted for veterinary practice. Veterinary students may be inappropriately influenced by animal rights propaganda and discouraged from veterinary careers. The ongoing developments derived from basic and clinical animal research are absolutely essential to every practicing veterinarian and citizen concerned with animals and their own personal health.

Veterinarians are often on the front line for animal advocacy and should become familiar with the tactics and strategies of animal rights extremists to help counteract the misrepresentations of those who do not speak for animals or the veterinary profession. An examination of current news headlines ominously reflects many of the book's major points. This text helps to provide a brief but informative review for those who want to become more familiar with the terms, history, and objectives of the animal rights movement and how it applies to veterinarians personally and professionally. It also contains numerous references for readers who want additional in-depth information.—By P. Michael Conn & James V. Parker. 199 pages. Palgrave Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10010. ISBN 0-230-60014-X. 2008. Price $34.95.