Providing a humane death
The AVMA is providing expanded guidance on the process of euthanasia, considerations for euthanizing animals, and the application of specific euthanasia methods in various species.
The 2013 edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals is available at www.avma.org. It includes sections on species and species groups; expanded technical information on euthanasia methods; guidance on minimizing stress on animals, clients, and those who perform euthanasia; and advice on actions before and after euthanasia.
Dr. Steven L. Leary of Washington University in St. Louis has been chair of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia since deliberations began on the current edition of the guidelines in 2009. He said the panel intends for this edition to help with the process of administering euthanasia to animals ranging from spiders to whales.
The guidelines' preface notes that attention to animal treatment and welfare has increased substantially in the 50 years since the publication of the first report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia, as evidenced by the growing number of studies and extent of policymaking related to animal welfare science and ethics. In creating the 2013 AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, the panel tried to apply the best available research and related information, and the recommendations were influenced by professional and public sensitivity to the ethical care for animals.
The guide includes additional technical guidance to help ensure, for example, that a firearm used to euthanize livestock will have the needed muzzle energy to cause a humane death or that a veterinarian euthanizing a finfish through immersion uses an appropriate agent at the correct concentration for a sufficient immersion time.
Dr. Gail C. Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division, said the new guidelines have also incorporated considerations for people who perform euthanasia, especially for those who could experience emotional or physical fatigue after administering euthanasia to many animals, because performance can suffer and animal welfare can decline in such situations.
The 2013 edition of the guidelines does not address techniques used for slaughter or depopulation. Dr. Leary noted that those subjects involve substantial additional considerations that will be addressed later, in separate reports.
Veterinary leaders seek details on proposed governance reforms
Veterinary leaders got their first look this January at a draft proposal for a leaner, more democratic AVMA governance structure designed to better facilitate member input, participation, and recruitment.
More than 300 members of the veterinary community attended the Task Force on AVMA Governance and Member Participation's unveiling of its recommended reforms at the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference Jan. 4 in Chicago.
The task force has proposed replacing the AVMA Executive Board and House of Delegates with a 17-member board of directors with sole authority over Association finances, bylaws, and policy, allowing AVMA members to directly elect officers, eliminating the AVMA vice president position, and granting voting rights to individual veterinary students.
Additionally, the 11 AVMA geographic districts would be eliminated, officers and directors would be elected through an online secret balloting process, and a Leadership Nominating Committee would select members serving on seven advisory councils formed around such AVMA strategic goals as advocacy, animal welfare, and education.
With a current governance structure comprising an Executive Board and House of Delegates—each empowered to establish Association policy; a Board of Governors; some 30 councils, committees, trusts, and task forces; and not forgetting an election process seen as favoring Association insiders, the AVMA has been criticized as an exclusive, slow-to-act organization often out of touch with the general membership.
AVMA leaders and stakeholders generally agree that the Association must evolve to meet the demands of the 21st century. The AVMA governance and member participation task force itself was established in response to a 2011 HOD resolution.
“While many options remain in how the governance system is defined, we have defined three key elements, namely, a board of directors, a set of advisory councils, and a Leadership Nominating Committee,” said task force Chair Ralph Johnson, also the executive director of the Colorado VMA.
Criticism of the proposal focused on the lack of clarity about the role of the House of Delegates. Johnson clarified that the task force model does indeed eliminate the HOD, at least in its current form as a policymaking body.
“However, please keep in mind that the model is a work in progress, and feedback from the session will be used to further refine the model,” Johnson added. “In their deliberations, the task force recognized the value of face-to-face gatherings for the exchange of ideas and information, leadership development, and peer networking. I think it is fair to say that the final recommendations from the task force will contain provisions for such gatherings.”
Changes to AVMA governance require a bylaws amendment approved by a two-thirds vote of the House of Delegates.
Since the Governance Dialog in January, task force members have held regular conference calls and met in March to refine the model. That proposal is expected to be ready in June although Johnson said the task force may need to extend the deadline.
House refers resolution on homeopathy, approves other measures
The AVMA House of Delegates, during its Jan. 5 regular winter session, deliberated on a resolution that would discourage homeopathy as ineffective and approved six other measures.
The theory of homeopathy is that diseases can be cured by administering ultrahigh dilutions of substances that in a healthy individual would produce signs similar to those reported for the disease
The Connecticut VMA submitted the resolution and prepared a white paper on “The Case Against Homeopathy” as an addendum. Veterinary organizations as well as individual veterinarians wrote to the HOD arguing for or against the resolution, and the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy submitted a white paper on “The Evidence Base for Homeopathy.”
Hundreds of homeopathy advocates among the general public contacted the AVMA via email, telephone, Facebook, and Twitter to voice their opposition to the resolution
Following deliberation, the HOD voted to refer the resolution to the AVMA Executive Board to consider referral to the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service. The council already is reviewing the existing AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, which do not describe the value of individual modalities
The HOD approved the following measures:
• Revisions to the AVMA policy on “Canine Devocalization” to emphasize that the procedure should be a final alternative to euthanasia for dogs whose excessive barking cannot be managed by other means
• Addition of the concept of veterinary oversight to the AVMA definition of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
• A new policy on the proper use of livestock handling tools.
• Designation of all seven members of the House Advisory Committee as at-large representatives, not representing professional categories.
• Updates to the AVMA policy on stem cells
• A bylaws amendment requiring the AVMA website and other appropriate electronic media to carry a notice of intent to amend the AVMA Bylaws at least 30 days before the pertinent HOD session. The previous requirement was for the JAVMA to publish the notice 30 days beforehand, online or in print, requiring even more lead time because of the publication cycle.
AVMA board acts on antimicrobials, logo, liaisons
The AVMA plans to help companion animal practitioners manage antimicrobial use, develop a new AVMA logo, and accept former volunteer leaders as liaisons.
The AVMA Executive Board voted in January to create the Task Force for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Companion Animal Practice, which will try to develop antimicrobial stewardship programs that companion animal veterinarians can use in a similar manner to those used in human hospitals.
The AVMA also could spend up to $178,000 on developing and implementing a new insignia, which would replace the one the AVMA has used since 1971. Like the current insignia—the third since the Association was founded in 1863 as the United States Veterinary Medical Association—the new insignia likely would still include the Aesculapian staff.
As a result of another Executive Board action, former AVMA volunteer leaders can become liaison representatives to outside organizations if no current volunteers are available. Prior to January's meeting of the AVMA Executive Board, only current members of the Executive Board, House of Delegates, councils, committees, and the AVMA staff have been able to serve as liaison representatives to groups outside the AVMA.
Former AVMA VP Brown elected to Executive Board
Former AVMA vice president Dr. Gary S. Brown has been elected to be the next District V AVMA Executive Board representative. As the sole nominee for the seat, Dr. Brown was declared elected by acclamation Feb. 1. He will replace Dr. Janver Krehbiel as the Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia representative this July.
Voting for a new District III representative on the Executive Board commenced March 1.
Drs. Michael E. Newman of Decatur, Ala., and Walter C. Robinson of Greenville, S.C., are running to succeed Dr. Joseph Kinnarney when his term on the board expires this July. The AVMA is expected to announce the winner April 2.
AVMA Executive Board members are elected to a six-year term.
Dr. Brown is a 1984 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and owner of small animal practices in Princeton, W. Va., and Pearisburg, Va. He was West Virginia's delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates for two years before his election as AVMA vice president in 2008. As vice president, Dr. Brown was the AVMA liaison to the Student AVMA and student chapters and a voting member of the Executive Board.
In 2009, Dr. Brown won a second term, and the following year, returned to the HOD as West Virginia's delegate.
“I come to the Executive Board with a thorough working knowledge of the AVMA components plus the current issues before the organization,” Dr. Brown said.
“Recent graduate and student issues make up a fairly large portion of AVMA's agenda, and that is right up my alley. I look forward to effectively supporting membership and leadership as a cohesive team.”
Comments invited on proposed equine dental specialty
The AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties has received a petition for recognition of an Equine Veterinary Dental specialty under the auspices of the American Veterinary Dental College, which has been an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization since 1988. In compliance with ABVS policies and procedures for recognition of a new recognized veterinary specialty under an existing RVSO, the ABVS is seeking comment from the public and the profession.
The AVDC first petitioned the ABVS in January 2012 to begin the process for recognition of the Equine Veterinary Dental specialty. The AVDC submitted a formal petition for recognition of the specialty to the ABVS Committee on the Development of New Specialties in November 2012.
The AVDC and the ad hoc Equine Specialty Development Committee of the AVDC, Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, European Veterinary Dental College, and International College of Equine Veterinary Odontology believe that equine dentistry has become a distinct and identifiable specialty as a veterinary dental discipline steeped in literature and research, but with only a small number of veterinarians qualified to perform specialist-level clinical service. The proposed specialty seeks to eliminate this deficiency in veterinary dentistry.
The petition also states that equine practitioners and horse owners have become more aware of the importance of oral health and high-quality dental services. With an increasingly interested AVDC member body and a supportive veterinary and public sector, the AVDC says the time is right to establish an equine dental specialty.
The petition estimates 25 veterinarians would be interested in pursuing formal training and certification in the AVDC equine dental specialty within the first three years of recognition.
The AVMA recognizes 22 RVSOs, and of those, seven have at least one RVS.
AVMA-recognized specialty organizations and specialties comply with recognition guidelines outlined in the ABVS Policies and Procedures Manual, available online at www.avma.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/Education/Specialties/Pages/abvs-pp.aspx.
Individuals are advised to refer to the recognition guidelines when developing and submitting comments regarding the proposed Equine Veterinary Dental specialty. Signed comments must be received no later than Sept. 1 and should be sent to David Banasiak, AVMA Education and Research Division, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360, or via email at email@example.com. Questions regarding the recognition guidelines or the proposed new specialty may be directed to Banasiak via email or by phone, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6677. For more information about this proposed specialty, visit www.avdc.org and click on “AVDC Petition to ABVS to Recognize an Equine Veterinary Dental Specialty.”
Plan for shelter medicine specialty open for comment
The AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties is seeking comments regarding the need for a specialty encompassing all aspects of veterinary practice important to the care and management of shelter animals.
This past November, an Association of Shelter Veterinarians committee petitioned the ABVS to recognize shelter medicine under the umbrella of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, which is a recognized veterinary specialty organization. The ABVP currently awards species-specific certification in 10 categories, including beef cattle, feline, and exotic companion mammal practice.
All RVSOs and recognized veterinary specialties comply with recognition guidelines outlined in the ABVS Policies and Procedures Manual, available online at www.avma.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/Education/Specialties/Pages/abvs-pp.aspx. The ABVS is seeking comments from the public and stakeholders regarding whether identifying shelter medicine as an RVS would fulfill a justifiable need. Individuals are advised to refer to the recognition guidelines when developing their comments.
The practice of veterinary medicine in an animal shelter differs substantially from conventional small animal veterinary practice, according to the committee petition. “Whereas traditional small animal veterinary practice focuses on the individual patient, shelter veterinary practice emphasizes the health of a population while still ensuring individual animal welfare,” the petition states.
“Veterinarians who work with shelters must not only possess medical and surgical skills and knowledge, they also must be capable and willing educators and managers, able to draw from many disciplines to meet the needs of the shelter and community,” the petition continues. “Beyond a conventional veterinary education, a strong background is necessary in areas such as epidemiology, population management and statistical tracking, immunology, infectious disease, behavior, public health, general management and veterinary forensics.”
On its website, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians notes a growing demand for shelter medicine resources. Moreover, most U.S. veterinary colleges have incorporated shelter medicine into their curricula, and several have developed postgraduate internship and residency training programs in the field.
“An RVS in Shelter Medicine Practice within ABVP will provide improved veterinary medical services to the profession and the public by enabling animal shelters to seek specialty services or consultation in Shelter Medicine to optimize care for millions of animals,” the organization states in the petition.
“Likewise, it will also provide the means by which veterinary medical boards, local and state legislatures and other relevant professional organizations can seek veterinarians qualified to offer expert opinions on medical, ethical and paraprofessional service issues and policies related to community animal sheltering.”
Signed comments are due by Sept. 1 and should be sent to David Banasiak, AVMA Education and Research Division, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions regarding the recognition guidelines or the proposed new specialty may be directed to Banasiak via e-mail or by phone, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6677.
Students can apply for AVMF scholarships
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has announced its scholarships for 2013.
This year, the Foundation will continue to partner with the Winn Feline Foundation in awarding a $2,500 scholarship to a third- or fourth-year veterinary student with an interest in feline medicine. Emphasis is placed on students who are involved in, or volunteer for, activities that benefit the health and welfare of cats, such as research or shelter work. GPA and financial need are also considered.
In addition, through the Mildred C. Sylvester Scholarship Fund, the AVMF will award multiple $1,000 scholarships to first-, second-, and third-year students attending AVMA Council on Education–accredited veterinary schools and colleges.
New in 2013 is a scholarship program focused on students interested in aquatic veterinary medicine. The Aquatic Veterinary Scholarships are sponsored by the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, AVMF, and AVMA.
Another scholarship the AVMF is debuting this year is the Elinor McGrath Scholarship. This will be a $500 award to a female veterinary student who has had to overcome an obstacle in her life to pursue a veterinary career. Dr. McGrath, who graduated from Chicago Veterinary College in 1910, is recognized as America's first practicing female veterinarian. She has been quoted as saying, “I had a goal to reach, so I overcame the obstacles.”
The AVMF is partnering with Juliette Fassett for this award. She is founder of Dr. McGrath's, a brand of animal grooming products named in honor of the pioneering veterinarian. A portion of sales from Dr. McGrath's Conditioning Animal Shampoo funds this award.
A special scholarship opportunity is being offered to celebrate the AVMA's 150th anniversary and the AVMF's 50th anniversary this year. Students are invited to research and prepare a report on one topic of interest in the history of veterinary medicine for the competition “Understanding Our Past to Transform our Future.” Eight veterinary students will be chosen to each receive a $2,500 scholarship prize and travel expenses for the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago. There, the winners will present their entries at a special symposium.
The application for these scholarships can be found on the AVMF's website, www.avmf.org, by clicking on the “What We Fund” link. The deadline for submission is May 15.
In October, the AVMF will launch the fourth annual Pfizer Animal Health/AVMF Student Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $3.12 million to more than 850 second- and third-year veterinary students.
Awarding exceptional veterinary students with scholarships is one way the AVMF supports its strategic goal of student enhancement. Another strategic initiative of the AVMF is humane outreach and animal welfare. The Foundation accomplishes this goal partly by helping veterinarians provide medical care to animal victims during and after disasters.
For more information on the scholarships, contact Cheri Kowal, AVMF manager of programs and impact. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (847) 285-6691.
Education council schedules site visits
The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to six schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for the remainder of 2013.
Site visits are planned for the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, April 7–11; University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine, April 21–25; University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine, May 19–23; VetAgro Sup Campus Veterinaire de Lyon, Sept. 22–26; Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 13–17; and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 27–31.
The council welcomes written comments on these plans or the programs to be evaluated. Comments should be addressed to Dr. David E. Granstrom, Director, Education and Research Division, AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173. Comments must be signed by the person submitting them to be considered.
AKC foundation funding research on canine athletes
The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation is calling for proposals for research on the health, well-being, and performance of canine athletes. At the same time, the foundation has issued its annual call for proposals for research in all areas of canine health.
In July 2012, the AKC Canine Health Foundation launched the Canine Athlete Initiative as a fundraising and public awareness campaign. In January, the foundation invited grant applications for basic and clinical research that will address the specific needs of canine athletes and working dogs. The CHF anticipates providing up to $500,000 in funding for such research.
Also in January, the foundation invited grant applications for research in other areas of canine health. The application and review process has changed substantially from previous years. Among other changes, applicants now must submit proposals for specific program areas.
The requests for proposals for research on canine athletes and in other program areas are available at www.akcchf.org/research by clicking on “Application Process” and then on “Research Program Areas.” May 31 is the deadline for proposals in most program areas.
USDA grant aids Johne's project
Every day, the U.S. consumes more than 16 million gallons of milk. Despite the technology and safety standards that are in place, some of the milk contains a bacterium linked to Johne's disease in cattle and possibly to Crohn's disease in people.
A $500,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture will allow Cornell University researchers to continue their work to identify Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis in milk, determine risk factors for milk contamination, and document recommended intervention strategies. The grant will build on the results of a $2.5 million project that has been under way since 2009.
During the four years it takes for a cow to develop clinical signs of MAP infection, the cow has typically produced thousands of gallons of milk. Recent studies have shown that MAP can survive pasteurization in milk. Johne's disease, which is caused by infection with MAP, is blamed for up to $250 million in annual losses to the U.S. dairy industry.
The researchers are involved in a nine-year longitudinal study to gather DNA from four generations of cows and from bacterial isolates, according to Dr. Ynte Schukken, principal investigator and professor of epidemiology and herd health at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Our study covers the entire spectrum, with data and samples collected from the field, cultured in the lab, and bacteria and host DNA sequenced using the most modern genomic methods,” Dr. Schukken said.
The researchers include scientists from Cornell, Penn State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Maryland.
“Our immediate goal is to provide dairy farmers with the tools they need to produce milk that is free of MAP bacteria,” Dr. Schukken said.
Citric acid can disinfect in FMD, African swine fever outbreaks
Citric acid can be used as a disinfectant during an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease or African swine fever if federally registered disinfectants are unavailable.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted in October 2012 an application by the Department of Agriculture to allow the use during emergencies of citric acid products as disinfectants against the viruses that cause those diseases. The EPA announced the decision, known as a quarantine exemption, in a letter sent to the USDA Oct. 22.
Animal disease researchers honor Wagner
An estimated 450 people attended the 93rd annual meeting of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases, Dec. 2–4, 2012, in Chicago.
The national meeting was dedicated to Dr. William C. Wagner, dean emeritus of St. Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine on Grand Cayman and a prominent figure in the study of infectious and noninfectious aspects of reproductive disorders of animals. Dr. Wagner died Dec. 10, 2012, just days after receiving the CRWAD dedicatee award (see JAVMA News, Feb. 15, 2013, page 453).
In addition to being a charter diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists and winner of numerous accolades, Dr. Wagner was a member of the Study Section on Fetal Development at the National Institutes of Health and served on the AVMA Council on Education, which he chaired in 1991.
Dr. Wagner earned both his DVM degree and doctorate in physiology from Cornell University, in 1956 and 1968, respectively. Between degrees, he spent several years working as a research associate in veterinary pathology at Cornell before joining the faculty of the Veterinary Medical Research Institute at Iowa State University in 1968.
In 1977, Dr. Wagner was chosen to head the Department of Veterinary Biosciences at the University of Illinois, and in 1990 he was made associate dean of research and graduate studies at the veterinary college. Also during this time, Dr. Wagner managed the Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service competitive grants program in animal reproduction. The CSREES has since been renamed the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
From 1990–1993, Dr. Wagner helped develop the CSREES competitive grants program in animal health. In 1993, he was named the agency's leader of the Section on Animal Systems and the national program leader for veterinary medicine, positions he held until 2002.
He then accepted a position as visiting professor at The Ohio State University. There, he worked on strategic planning and research funding for the university and helped develop the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, which began in 2002 under his leadership at the USDA.
In 2007, Dr. Wagner joined St. Matthew's University as dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, serving until his retirement in 2011.
Life membership in CRWAD was awarded to Dr. Lawrence H. Arp, Boulder, Colo.
The 2013 CRWAD officers are Dr. Rodney A. Moxley, Lincoln, Neb., president; Dr. David A. Benfield, Wooster, Ohio, vice president; and Robert P. Ellis, PhD, Fort Collins, Colo., executive director.
The Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine awarded the 2012 Calvin W. Schwabe Award to Dr. Ian Dohoo, professor emeritus of epidemiology at the University of Prince Edward Island and former director of the Centre for Veterinary Epidemiological Research at the university.
Dr. Dohoo has established a reputation as a leading international figure in veterinary epidemiology and population-based health research. He has served as president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and has received numerous teaching and research awards.
In 2005, Dr. Dohoo was one of four veterinarians in Canada elected as an inaugural fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2008, he was awarded an honorary veterinary medical doctorate by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and in 2012, an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Guelph.
Recipients of the AVEPM student awards were as follows: Epidemiology and Animal Health Economics/Companion Animal Epidemiology category, oral—Brandy Burgess, Colorado State University, for “Risk factors for environmental contamination with Salmonella enterica in a veterinary teaching hospital” and Audrey Ruple, Colorado State University, for “Syndromic surveillance for nosocomial infections in small animal veterinary referral hospitals.” Food and Environmental Safety category, oral— Katie Smith, University of Tennessee, for “Discovery of novel alternatives to antibiotic growth promoter to protect food safety” and Sanaz Salehi, Mississippi State University, for “The role of flagella in the attachment of Salmonella enterica serovar Kentucky to broiler skin.” Poster—Joshua Ison, Texas Tech University, for “A meta-analysis of the association of Lactobacillus acidophilus NP51 administration with Escherichia coli O157 in feces and on hides of feedlot cattle.”
The Mark Gearhart Memorial Award for best manuscript in epidemiology and preventive medicine was presented to Brandy Burgess, Colorado State University, for “Nasal shedding of equine herpesvirus-1 from horses in an outbreak of equine herpes myeloencephalopathy in Western Canada.”
The American Association of Veterinary Immunologists named Michael P. Murtaugh, PhD, as AAVI Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist of 2012. Dr. Murtaugh is a professor in the Department of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
In 1980, after receiving his doctorate in entomology from The Ohio State University, Dr. Murtaugh joined the Department of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Center in Houston. Five years later, he took a molecular biologist position on the faculty at the University of Minnesota's Department of Veterinary Pathobiology.
There, Dr. Murtaugh developed a program in molecular mechanisms of disease resistance that focused on pigs and has guided the laboratory for a quarter of a century. His laboratory became involved in molecular analysis and evolution of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, resulting in extensive basic and translational research findings that have contributed to the understanding of porcine immune responses to the PRRS virus. From 2004–2008, he was director of the USDA's PRRS Coordinated Agricultural Project.
Dr. Murtaugh has lectured extensively on PRRS in terms of immunology, vaccinology, and diagnostic testing throughout the world. Recently, his laboratory initiated a study of the immunologic interaction of swine with porcine circoviruses.
Recipients of the AAVI student awards were as follows: First place, oral—Basavaraj Binjawadagi, The Ohio State University, for “Nanoparticle based inactivated adjuvanted porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus vaccine elicits superior cross protective immunity.” Second place, oral—Roxann Brooks, University of California-Davis, for “Development of a mouse model for delineating protective immune response(s) specific for epizootic bovine abortion.” Third place, oral—Aimee Benjamin, University of Vermont, for “Use of dermal fibroblasts to predict the innate immune response to bovine mastitis.” First place, poster—Stephanie Neal, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, for “The effect of maternal colostral immune cells on neonatal health and immune development.” Second place, poster—Anne Johnson, Virginia Tech, for “Staphylococcus aureus inhibition of dendritic cell apoptosis.” Third place, poster—Mari Lehtimaki, Virginia Tech, for “Granzyme B release is triggered by activation of bovine lymphocytes.”
Dr. Leon N.D. Potgieter, former professor and head of comparative medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, is the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists' Distinguished Veterinary Microbiologist of 2012.
Dr. Potgieter retired from the university in 2011 after nearly 33 years of service but not before helping establish diagnostic laboratories for the South African Agricultural Department, Oklahoma State University, and UT veterinary college. He received his veterinary degree in 1964 from Pretoria University in Onderstepoort, South Africa, and spent much of his career conducting extensive research on bovine viruses and bacteria.
Among Dr. Potgieter's many achievements are the development of a pili-based vaccine for Mycobacterium bovis and a better understanding of the pathogenesis of various bacterial agents in bovine respiratory disease. Additionally, his research on bovine viral diarrhea virus has resulted in advances in the understanding of pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnostic testing, and control measures for this pathogen.
Dr. Potgieter's work was not limited to food animals. His studies led to greater insights into viral pathogens of small animals and exotic species, including herpesvirus in kestrels, distemper in raccoons, and ophidian paramyxovirus in vipers.
The ACVM student awards were presented to the following recipients: Don Kahn Award—Yan-Yan Ni, Virginia Tech, for “Attenuation of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus by molecular breeding of the virus envelope genes from genetically divergent strains.” In vitro category—Kenneth Brandenburg, University of Wisconsin, for “Inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation on a biological wound dressing.” Molecular category—Kevin Howe, Mississippi State University, for “Evaluation of invasion by nonpathogenic Salmonella enterica serovar Kentucky in poultry intestinal epithelial cells. In vivo category—Heidi Pecoraro, Colorado State University, for “Genome evolution and antigenic variation of canine influenza virus H3N8 in U.S. dogs.” Poster—M.K.S. Rajput, South Dakota State University, for “Non adherent CD14 negative bovine monocyte derived dendritic cells lose their capacity to produce infectious bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) during its development.”
The Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine presented its student award to Laura Manzi, University of Rhode Island, for “Anthelmintic effect of proanthocyanidin extract of cranberry leaf powder on Haemonchus contortus and Caenorhabiditis elegans.”
The American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists presented its student award to Alejandra Betancourt, University of Kentucky, for “Evaluation of the systemic inflammatory reaction to anthelmintic treatment in ponies.”
The NC-1202 Enteric Diseases (North Central Committee for Research on Enteric Diseases of Swine and Cattle) student awards were presented to the following recipients: First place, oral—Xiaosai Ruan, South Dakota State University, for “Development of a modified live vaccine against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli–associated porcine post-weaning diarrhea.” Second place, oral—Chengxian Zhang, South Dakota State University, for “Safety and immunogenicity studies of a modified heat-labile toxin (LT) and heat-stable toxin (ST) fusion protein (LTS63K/R192G/L211A-3xSTaA14Q) in a murine model” and Fabio A. Vannucci, University of Minnesota, for “Laser capture microdissection coupled with RNA-seq analysis to evaluate the transcriptional response of pigs experimentally infected with Lawsonia intracellularis.” Poster—Muhammad Soof, Purdue University, for “Targeting Salmonella essential genes with antisense peptide nucleic acid.”
The Biosafety and Biosecurity Award, sponsored by the Animal Health Institute and the Joseph J. Garbarino Foundation, was presented to Nadia Saklou, Colorado State University, for “Environmental survival of equid herpesvirus-1.”
Midwestern appoints Sidaway as first dean
Dr. Brian K. Sidaway has been named dean of the Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine, slated to open in fall 2014 in Glendale, Ariz. Kathleen H. Goeppinger, PhD, university president and CEO, announced the appointment in January.
Dr. Sidaway has served as associate dean of the college since June 2012. He has been instrumental in obtaining Arizona licensure for the new program, completing a comprehensive self-study for the AVMA Council on Education, and initiating curriculum development.
Dr. Goeppinger said, “Dr. Sidaway has won the respect and admiration of all of us since he began here last June. He has the skills, enthusiasm, and work ethic that are shared by all members of the academic community, and we look forward to working with him to develop this important new college.”
A native of Biloxi, Miss., Dr. Sidaway is a former director of the Arizona VMA and also has 15 years of veterinary practice and education experience. Prior to his arrival at Midwestern University, he practiced veterinary surgery in Louisiana, where he also served as a consultant and surgeon at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. Dr. Sidaway is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He is a 1998 graduate of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Midwestern University plans to welcome its inaugural class of 100 students in August 2014. It will be the first college in Arizona ever to offer a DVM degree. The AVMA Council on Education conducted a comprehensive site visit in January 2013 in response to the college's request for a letter of reasonable assurance of accreditation.
Dean Schurig to step down at Virginia-Maryland
Dr. Gerhardt G. Schurig will step down this summer as dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
Appointed the college's third dean in 2004, Dr. Schurig joined the faculty in 1978. A professor and veterinary immunologist, he is considered one of the world's leading brucellosis researchers.
Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee said, “World-class research programs, a top-notch teaching hospital, and a cadre of distinguished faculty and clinicians are key pieces of the legacy of his leadership, and he leaves the college well poised for continued growth and impact.”
Before serving as dean, Dr. Schurig was the associate dean for research and graduate studies, director of Virginia Tech's Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences, and a senior researcher and director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Schurig earned his DVM degree in 1970 from the University of Chile and a doctorate in immunology from Cornell University. He spent two years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Veterinary Science. He then joined the Virginia Tech faculty and began a research career that culminated with development of the RB-51 vaccine, the only vaccine currently approved for use in the federal brucellosis control program. It played a major role in virtual eradication of the cattle disease in the U.S.
He served as 2011–2012 president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and has published more than a hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals.
After stepping down, Dr. Schurig will return to the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, where he will teach immunology and conduct research.
Nightclub fire kills 15 veterinary students
The fire at the Kiss nightclub Jan. 27 in Santa Maria, Brazil, claimed the lives of more than 230, including a group of local veterinary students.
Santa Maria, at the southern tip of Brazil near the country's borders with Argentina and Uruguay, is a major university city, with a population of around 250,000. The fire is believed to have started around 2:30 a.m.; firefighters worked for three hours to contain the blaze. News reports say up to 2,000 people—mostly students—were in the nightclub when the fire started.
A total of 113 students from the Federal University of Santa Maria perished, including 64 from the Rural Sciences Center. Fifteen of those students were with the College of Veterinary Medicine, according to Flavia Tonin, a spokesperson for the university.
One veterinary class lost five students, said Dr. Alexander W. Biondo, an associate professor of molecular biology at the University of Illinois, who completed his master's at Santa Maria. The Santa Maria veterinary college admits two classes per year, with around 50 total in each class.
A letter published online by the Brazilian Federal Council of Veterinary Medicine, the country's equivalent of the AVMA, expressed sympathy for the families and friends of the victims.
Most of the victims died of suffocation or were trampled in the stampede toward the venue's only emergency exit, according to reports.
Rozmiarek receives AAALAC award
Recently, Dr. Harry Rozmiarek received the highest honor of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. The Bennett J. Cohen Award recognizes his exceptional service and important contributions to AAALAC International and his commitment to promoting the highest standards of laboratory animal use in research, testing, and education.
Currently, he serves as professor emeritus and director of the University of Pennsylvania and Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Dr. Rozmiarek began as an ad hoc consultant to AAALAC in 1971, then served on the Council on Accreditation from 1979–1988. For more than a decade, he served on AAALAC's board of trustees in positions that included chair.
Dr. Rozmiarek joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1987 as professor of laboratory animal medicine and director of university laboratory animal resources, later serving as university veterinarian and associate director of the Office of Regulatory Affairs and director of postdoctoral residency training for veterinarians in laboratory animal medicine.
His contributions to the wider laboratory animal science community have included his presidencies of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, and the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. In 2003, Dr. Rozmiarek was appointed by the National Research Council's Institute for Laboratory Animal Research to represent the U.S. on the International Council for Lab oratory Animal Science. He continues in that position. In addition, he was elected to the ICLAS Governing Board in 2007 and has been ICLAS secretary-general since 2011. Currently, he is a member of the Scientific Consultants Group for Malaria Research of the Agency for International Development and represents the U.S. on ICLAS.
Dr. Rozmiarek has published extensively in the fields of immunology, toxicology, virology and infectious disease, and laboratory animal management and husbandry.