HOD again rejects measures to stop foreign accreditation
The nays have it.
Nearly 80 percent of the AVMA House of Delegates voted against a resolution calling for the Executive Board to end accreditation of non-U.S. and non-Canadian veterinary colleges by the AVMA Council on Education.
The resolution, submitted by the New York State Veterinary Medical Society, was considered by delegates during their 2014 regular winter session, Jan. 11 in Chicago.
The HOD has now debated the merits of foreign accreditation three times in the past four years.
Dr. Eric M. Bregman, owner of the Bregman Veterinary Group in Williston Park, N.Y., said that the experience of serving on the AVMA task force on foreign accreditation caused him to have misgivings about the foreign accreditation process. The New York State VMS formed its own committee to study the issue, which Dr. Bregman served on. The committee's work resulted in the 2014 resolution from the NYSVMS requesting an end to foreign veterinary school accreditation by the COE by the end of the decade.
In its statement about the resolution, the NYSVMS said the education council's focus should be to “continually improve the quality of the graduates, programs, and institutions of domestic and Canadian veterinary colleges” and that the foreign accreditation process is “resource intensive” and “logistically challenging.”
Further, the resolution's background expressed concerns about whether accreditation standards are being applied evenly, given the differences in educational models, languages, and cultures among accredited schools. Questions were also raised regarding the council's standards for research and clinical education, and whether these standards were being met at all the veterinary schools.
Finally, the resolution's background, noting that the COE expects accredited schools whose graduating students normally take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination to have a pass rate of 80 percent or higher, questioned whether foreign veterinary schools could meet this expectation.
“The NAVLE cannot provide comparative data across all COE-accredited veterinary schools because it is not a requirement for accreditation. With the exception of Ross University and St. George's University, most graduates from accredited foreign schools do not take the NAVLE because they are not pursuing licensure in the United States or Canada,” according to the resolution's background.
Dr. Walter McCarthy, New York delegate, said during the HOD session that the NYSVMS doesn't take the matter lightly and understood that ending accreditation of foreign veterinary schools by the COE could have serious implications.
That said, Dr. McCarthy maintained that the practice should be stopped. He has doubts about student quality, for one thing. He added that “these institutions only accept U.S. students because they have guaranteed federal loans.”
Further, Dr. McCarthy said, “Foreign accreditation is a concept that is driven at the highest levels of the AVMA. … Foreign accreditation benefits the AVMA on a world stage and gives power to influence other countries, but takes away time and power that could be put to better use.”
Prior to the HOD session, the AVMA Executive Board issued a 15-page response rebutting concerns raised in the resolution and released answers to a series of frequently asked questions on foreign accreditation. AVMA staff and COE members provided additional information during the House reference committee meetings.
With regard to the resources required for foreign veterinary school accreditation, Dr. Karen Martens Brandt, then acting director (now director) of the AVMA Education and Research Division, explained that the COE conducts up to 12 site visits a year. Domestic veterinary schools receive preference over foreign veterinary schools, and this has sometimes resulted in overseas institutions being told their site visit has to be delayed. The AVMA is fully reimbursed for site visits by the foreign veterinary schools.
“As far as resources … [t]here are plenty of accrediting bodies that accredit many more schools than we do and are successful,” she said.
Dr. Ronald Gill, a COE member, responded to concerns about accreditation of schools that conduct classes in a language other than English, noting that all correspondence and interactions associated with the accreditation process are conducted in English.
Addressing concerns about NAVLE results, Dr. Gill further explained, “With [regard to] the pass-fail rate on the NAVLE, there is a rubric set up now that allows foreign schools with small numbers of students taking the test to see if they meet the 80 percent pass rate. We have a COE member who is a statistician who has developed this.”
Dr. David E. Granstrom, AVMA chief operating officer and former Education and Research Division director, compared the accreditation process to an open-book test for veterinary schools, but one that is not easy to pass.
“So what happens is, we ask the college to submit a self-study on how they meet the standards, and that's done the same way internationally and domestically,” he said. “When it costs a university millions of dollars to fix a facility, we get it —it's not a fun exercise. We've told the veterinary schools in question here—and they've been denied many times—to change their faculty and curriculum many times, before they were granted accreditation.”
Prior to the House vote, a number of delegates and others voiced their opinions as to why the COE should continue accrediting foreign veterinary schools.
Dr. Kathleen Smiler, Michigan alternate delegate, compared what the council has done for international veterinary education to what the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International has done for laboratory animal medicine: raise the bar.
Dr. Trevor Ames, president-elect of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, brought up the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) meeting this past December in Brazil, where global veterinary education standards were discussed. Dr. Ames said the AVMA had a prominent role in developing some of the OIE's materials on education, including its model veterinary curriculum.
“Clearly, the platform the AVMA speaks from would be very different if it weren't involved in foreign accreditation,” he said.
He added that the educational standards set by the OIE have been adopted by the World Trade Organization, and thus, affect foreign trade.
The COE currently accredits 46 veterinary colleges. Of those, 13 are colleges outside the U.S. and Canada, including one that has been accredited by the council since 1972.
The AVMA has announced that Drs. José V. Arce and Rena Carlson-Lammers will be the next representatives for districts IV and XI, respectively, on the AVMA Executive Board. The sole candidates for their seats, they will begin their six-year terms in July.
Dr. Arce will succeed Dr. Larry G. Dee as the board representative for AVMA members residing in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. Dr. Carlson-Lammers will succeed Dr. Thomas F. Meyer as the board representative for AVMA members residing in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
Dr. Arce, a native of Puerto Rico, and his wife, Dr. Anik Puig, graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and moved to Puerto Rico in 1998. He held positions early in his career at several animal hospitals and the San Juan Municipal Shelter. In 2003, he founded Miramar Animal Hospital in San Juan.
Since 2000, Dr. Arce has served on the board of the Puerto Rico VMA. He is secretary of the association's Legislation Commission and is a member of the association's Convention Committee. He was Puerto Rico's alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 2000–2010 and has been its delegate from 2010 to the present.
Dr. Carlson-Lammers, a native of Idaho, is a 1989 graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She returned to Idaho to work as a companion animal practitioner. In 1993, she became co-owner of Alpine Animal Hospital in Pocatello, which has grown into a six-veterinarian, mixed animal practice. She is attending veterinarian for the Idaho State University Animal Care Facility, which handles care of laboratory animals. She also helps on her parents’ cattle ranch.
Dr. Carlson-Lammers served as president of the Eastern Idaho VMA in 1991. She was president of the Idaho VMA in 2000 and has been on the association's board for 16 years, serving as chair in 2001. She became Idaho's alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates in 2005 and currently serves as delegate.
AVMA delegates want members to help investigate pet illnesses
AVMA leaders joined federal authorities in calling for veterinarians’ help to investigate illnesses associated with pet foods, particularly jerky-type pet treats, which anecdotally have been suspected to be connected to the death of hundreds of dogs.
In January, the AVMA House of Delegates expressed support for veterinarians’ cooperation with the FDA in gathering information on harm associated with pet foods. The delegates did not establish an Association position, but rather, voted in favor of asking that the AVMA Executive Board encourage such cooperation.
In October 2013, the Food and Drug Administration asked for veterinarians’ help to gather information on pet illnesses and deaths potentially associated with jerky-type treats. A letter from the agency to veterinarians indicated at the time the agency had received reports that more than 3,600 dogs and 10 cats had become ill from such treats and about 580 had died.
The delegates took the action after receiving a petition by AVMA members who proposed that the AVMA take a position that “jerky” treats are unnecessary for pet nutrition and that they should not be fed to pets until more safety information is available.
The delegates instead asked that the Executive Board encourage members to help protect pet health by giving the FDA information on illnesses possibly related to pet foods, including treats, and by working with the agency to protect pets through quality control of pet foods.
The FDA has asked that veterinarians report pet illnesses believed to be connected with pet foods and treats at www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.
Delegates reject statement against homeopathy
AVMA delegates at their regular winter session Jan. 11 in Chicago rejected by a 9–1 margin a proposal to identify homeopathy as ineffective.
The Connecticut VMA proposed establishing an AVMA policy that would discourage the use of homeopathy, but only 10 percent of the vote by the AVMA House of Delegates favored the proposal. Although the topic was open for discussion prior to the vote, no delegates spoke in favor of or against the resolution.
But Dr. Karen Bradley, the delegate from Vermont, said during an HOD reference committee meeting earlier in the day that the AVMA should be an inclusive umbrella organization for veterinarians. She did not think AVMA leaders should debate the worth of each modality.
In the same committee meeting, Dr. Kenneth E. Bartels, the delegate from Oklahoma, likened the use of homeopathy to use of laser-based therapies. He has administered the latter since the 1980s and is among veterinarians who are writing the evidence base for that modality.
In an interview after the meeting, Dr. Clark K. Fobian, AVMA president, noted that the AVMA Council on Research found no scientific basis for use of homeopathic treatments. But he thinks the scientific community and regulatory authorities, rather than the AVMA, should decide whether use of homeopathic remedies is appropriate.
By deciding not to take a position discouraging the practice of homeopathy, “AVMA is in no way saying it is a valid, legitimate treatment modality” or otherwise assessing its validity, he said.
AVMA releasing guidelines on humane slaughter
The AVMA has nearly completed guidelines on the humane slaughter of animals ranging from hoofed stock and poultry to fish, alligators, and rabbits.
On Jan. 10, the AVMA Executive Board approved the content of the first edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Humane Slaughter of Animals. The draft version of the report runs more than 50,000 words.
While updating the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, the Panel on Euthanasia recommended separating the issues of slaughter and depopulation from euthanasia. A nine-member Panel on Humane Slaughter, comprising eight members of the euthanasia panel plus an expert on religious slaughter, developed the slaughter guidelines with support from working groups comprising individuals with relevant research and practical experience. Members of the AVMA provided input during a comment period.
The report's objective is to provide guidance for veterinarians who carry out or oversee animal slaughter on how to prevent pain and distress during the process. The scope of the report is the period from offloading of an animal at a slaughter facility until verification of the animal's death. The first edition covers the following animals: cattle, bison, horses and mules, sheep, goats, swine, deer, elk, chickens, turkey, pheasants, ratites, geese, ducks, fish, alligators, and rabbits.
The next steps for the guidelines are a complete editorial review and copy editing as well as finalization of figures and construction of tables. The guidelines on depopulation are forthcoming.
Veterinary economics a priority for 2014
The AVMA has set its sights on strengthening the economic viability of the profession in 2014. Speeches by Association leaders and staff outlined related strategic initiatives during the 2014 AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, Jan. 9–12 in Chicago.
Governance reform will also continue to be a priority for the AVMA. That was made apparent during a facilitated discussion held with the House of Delegates.
For the past few years, the AVMA has been laying the groundwork necessary to allow it to pursue solutions to economic issues facing the veterinary profession, one of the Association's strategic goals.
The AVMA Veterinary Economics Division was created in August 2011 and set to work on its first major project—the U.S. Veterinary Workforce Study. The intent was to conduct an economic analysis of the current and future supply of, and demand for, veterinarians and veterinary services in the United States.
Released April 23, 2013, the workforce report said approximately 12.5 percent of veterinary services in the United States went unused in 2012, that is, the demand for veterinary services in 2012 was sufficient to fully employ just 78,950 of the 90,200 veterinarians currently working in clinical and nonclinical settings, resulting in an excess capacity of services equal to the labor of 11,250 full-time veterinarians. Study results further projected that the nation's veterinary services capacity is likely to be underutilized by 11 to 14 percent through 2025.
Michael Dicks, PhD, director of the economics division, in his Jan. 11 talk before the HOD, explained the three major factors that have caused excess capacity in the veterinary profession in the past five years.
First, the U.S. economy has seen a 7.5 percent reduction in gross domestic product since 2008 because of the Great Recession. “That represents a 7.5 percent reduction in your business. That means every consumer is less willing to spend for services because of less income, so there's less demand,” Dr. Dicks said.
Second, in the past 10 to 15 years, prices for veterinary services have been increasing, even above trend, or faster than the per capita increase for all other services, including human health care services. Dr. Dicks said now, veterinarians have saturated demand at those prices. And because prices are above trend, there's a gap between the quantity of services veterinarians are willing to provide at a certain price and the quantity of those services demanded by consumers at that price.
Third, while the number of U.S. veterinary students fluctuates over time, that figure has been increasing above trend since the 2005–2006 academic year. Just in the past five years, the total number of veterinary students has gone up by about 4.4 percent. And a recent Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges survey indicated enrollment among U.S. veterinary schools is expected to increase by 6 to 8 percent, or 150 to 200 students, over the next three years.
Lost demand from the recession has likely contributed the greatest impact on veterinary practices, he said.
“If you would spend money on solving the excess capacity problem, it would be demand that I'd go for. Most of the money we're spending out of (the AVMA) reserves will look at how to grow demand,” he said.
Three studies by the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division will start up in 2014. They are as follows:
• An elasticity study will determine the effects of the price of veterinary services and customer disposable income on the demand for veterinary services.
• An employment study will look at how many veterinarians have been unemployed or underemployed and for how long in addition to whether their status is temporary or permanent and why.
• A capacity study will determine the difference in characteristics between veterinary practices operating at excess capacity and those operating at full capacity.
Appealing to AVMA members, Dr. Dicks said, “There's only one good source of data, and it's you. So when we send a survey out, we need good feedback. I need to see some real numbers. We need the best data so we can have specific measures,” he said. “You have two big roles. You have to give me data—I'll work with it to develop useful tools and information—and then you have to use it. I'm going to do my job, and I hope, then, that you'll do your job.”
Acupuncturists gain HOD representation
The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture is now a member of the AVMA House of Delegates.
Delegates voted during their regular winter session Jan. 11 in Chicago to add the acupuncturists’ organization, with 97 percent of the vote in favor of the addition.
Dr. Ken Ninomiya, president of the AAVA, said leaders in his organization had discussed qualifying for HOD representation at least since 2004, and the AAVA met the membership requirements during 2012.
“We would really like to contribute and have a voice for our members in some of the topics that come up,” he said.
Dr. Ninomiya cited as an example the HOD's consideration in recent years of resolutions on cosmetic tail docking and ear cropping of dogs. He thinks the AAVA can have more impact through membership in the HOD than through submission of comments by individual members.
Allied organizations applying for HOD membership need to meet criteria that include having a national scope of operation and representing a broad field of veterinary activity. At least 90 percent of the applicant organization's members must be voting members of the AVMA, and those voting members need to comprise at least 1 percent of the AVMA's overall membership.
Documents provided to delegates indicate 843 of the AAVA's 903 members were AVMA members as of May 2013, exceeding the required minimum of 840 members.
AVMA eases membership requirements
AVMA leaders have reduced the requirements for joining the Association, intending to eliminate processes that slowed entry of qualified veterinarians.
In January, the AVMA House of Delegates voted to eliminate a requirement that applicants for AVMA membership meet one of the following criteria: be a member of an organization represented in the HOD, be a diplomate of a veterinary specialty recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties, gain endorsements from two voting members of the AVMA, or graduate as a member of an organization represented in the Student AVMA House of Delegates. Applicants for voting membership will still need to graduate from a veterinary college or school, agree to pay dues, and abide by the AVMA Bylaws, rules, and Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics.
The AVMA Executive Board had proposed the change, which also will make it easier for some veterinarians who left the AVMA to become members again.
Dr. Kevin Dajka, director of the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division, said during an HOD reference committee meeting prior to the House vote that the proposal was intended to remove barriers that were preventing qualified veterinarians from quickly joining the Association.
The change also eliminates the associate member category, leaving only voting and affiliate membership. The latter is granted to nonveterinarians who teach veterinary medicine or related sciences or engage in veterinary research.
With the proposal to change the bylaws, a statement from the Executive Board indicates, in part, that the AVMA membership categories were inconsistent in residence requirements. Voting members, who account for more than 99 percent of members, could live in any country, yet the AVMA had a separate category for associate members who resided outside the U.S.
AVMA seeks to host student researchers, poultry scientists
Upcoming AVMA annual conventions could feature a student research symposium and the Poultry Science Association.
On Jan. 10, the AVMA Executive Board approved offering to host the Merial–National Institutes of Health Veterinary Scholars Symposium for the first time, at the 2020 AVMA Annual Convention. The board also approved discussions to hold a joint convention for the second time with the Poultry Science Association, in 2018.
Each summer, hundreds of veterinary students participate in research projects at veterinary colleges. The students present their findings at the Merial-NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium, which is traditionally held at a veterinary college. The 2013 symposium at Michigan State University attracted about 600 registrants, including 458 students.
In 2011, the AVMA and the Poultry Science Association held a joint meeting in St. Louis, at a profit to the AVMA. The PSA inquired about another partnership with the AVMA for 2018. The AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee recommended discussing an agreement.
House appoints two to councils
In January, the AVMA House of Delegates filled two vacancies on AVMA councils. The HOD elected Dr. Mark A. Suckow of Granger, Ind., to the Council on Research, representing veterinary medical research, and Dr. Cheryl Ann Swartz of Phoenix, Ore., to the Council on Veterinary Service, representing private mixed practice.
Education council schedules site visits
The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to seven schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for the remainder of 2014.
Site visits are planned for the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, April 6–10; Massey University Institute of Veterinary, Animal, and Biomedical Sciences in New Zealand, May 4–9; Seoul National University College of Veterinary Medicine in South Korea, June 1–5 (consultative site visit); University of Utrecht Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in the Netherlands, Sept. 21–25; Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 4–9; Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 26–30; and Oniris Ecole National Vétérinaire in France, Nov. 16–20 (consultative site visit).
The council welcomes written comments on these plans or the programs to be evaluated. Comments should be addressed to Dr. Karen Martens Brandt, 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.
Website provides tools for pet nutrition
The Pet Nutrition Alliance has developed a website to provide veterinary professionals with credible resources on pet nutrition. The PNA announced the website Jan. 19 at the North American Veterinary Community Conference in Orlando, Fla.
The American Animal Hospital Association, the AVMA, and other veterinary organizations established the PNA to promote the importance of proper pet nutrition and the value of nutritional assessments for every pet at every veterinary visit. The PNA website offers a collection of tools on pet nutrition for veterinary professionals to use in practice and to educate clients.
A PNA committee developed the website by compiling existing resources on pet nutrition and writing answers to frequently asked questions. The website does not have any company branding, although some tools come from companies. The PNA is rolling out the website to veterinary professionals now and will roll out the website to pet owners later this year.
Survey delves into veterinarians’ personal financial health
Many veterinarians believe they are personally not doing well financially, according to a new survey.
Veterinary Pet Insurance, Veterinary Economics magazine, and Brakke Consulting released the VPI–Veterinary Economics Financial Health Study on Jan. 19 at the North American Veterinary Community Conference in Orlando, Fla. The survey was conducted July 25-Aug. 4, 2013.
The study sample was 1,193 veterinarians from the database of Advanstar, publisher of Veterinary Economics, who responded to an email invitation to an online survey. Respondents were owners and associates whose practice consisted of at least 75 percent companion animals.
Forty-one percent of owners and 31 percent of associates said they were doing well financially, rating their personal financial condition as 8 to 10 on a 10-point scale. A quarter of owners and 30 percent of associates said they were doing poorly, 0 to 5 on a 10-point scale.
A third of owners said their practice was doing well, but another third said their practice was doing poorly. Twenty-two percent of associates were unaware of the financial health of their practice. Just over half of owners were paying off loans for the practice.
Twenty-two percent of owners had student loans, while 49 percent of associates had student loans.
Twenty-seven percent of owners were planning to delay retirement because of the poor financial condition of their practice. Fifty-eight percent of owners worked more hours than they would have liked because the practice needed the revenue, overlapping with the 69 percent who would have liked to work less but needed the income personally.
Only a third of owners believed the sale of their practice would provide them with a comfortable retirement income. Forty-four percent of associates were interested in owning a practice, although few believed they had the financial means to do so.
The researchers found that heat treatment of feline serum samples prior to testing can considerably improve the sensitivity of antigen assays and, in turn, result in a more accurate diagnosis of heartworm infection in cats.
One Health Commission changes leadership
Dr. Cheryl M. Stroud is the new executive director of the nonprofit One Health Commission, which works to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration to address health concerns. Dr. Roger K. Mahr, a past president of the AVMA, served as chief executive officer of the commission until his recent retirement from the position.
Dr. Stroud is former chair of the North Carolina One Health Collaborative and previous AVMA representative to the OHC. The commission's headquarters have moved from Iowa State University to the Research Triangle in North Carolina.
In late 2012, the OHC expanded its membership beyond professional organizations to add categories for individuals and corporations. Membership in all categories increased in 2013.
On Jan. 10, the AVMA Executive Board appointed Dr. Mark Starr of Sacramento, Calif., as AVMA liaison to the commission's nonvoting Council of Advisors. Dr. Joann Lindenmayer is the AVMA representative on the OHC board.
A family has pledged $10 million to the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center, which is the single largest contribution in the center's history.
The gift comes from the Hadley and Marion Stuart Foundation, led by two of the Stuarts’ children, Nan and Brett Stuart of Longmont, Colo., and nearly doubles operational funds for the center. The donation also completes the funding of two endowed academic chairs, the university said in a press release.
In 1983, the late E. Hadley Stuart first brought one of his Golden Retrievers to CSU's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences for cancer care. Since then, the Stuart family has provided nearly $22 million toward cancer research and clinical treatment of naturally occurring cancers in dogs, including this most recent donation.
Opened in 2002, the Animal Cancer Center houses the world's largest group of scientists studying cancer in pets, according to CSU, with more than 100 faculty clinicians, staff members, and veterinary students. The center books about 6,000 appointments per year and provides an additional 3,000 consultations by phone and email. Collaborations with the National Cancer Institute and University of Colorado Cancer Center, among others, demonstrate the relevance of the center's work to human cancer as well.
The Hadley and Marion Stuart Foundation was established by heirs to the founder of Carnation Milk Products Co., a family dairy turned industry-leading food company best known for its condensed milk. Nestlé acquired Carnation in 1985.
LMU appoints Hoffsis as dean
Exactly a year since departing from the University of Florida, Dr. Glen F. Hoffsis will lead Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., as it launches its College of Veterinary Medicine.
He has been appointed dean of the veterinary college and associate vice president of health sciences starting July 1, according to an LMU press release. Dr. Hoffsis formerly served as dean of the veterinary colleges at Florida for seven years and The Ohio State University for 11 years, and he was the associate director of veterinary services at P&G Pet Health and Nutrition (formerly Iams Co.).
He replaces Dr. Randall K. Evans, who was chosen as the founding dean of the emerging veterinary college in 2011 after serving as the founding dean of the LMU School of Allied Health for four years. In addition, Dr. Evans was director for 19 years of Lincoln Memorial's veterinary technology program, which is accredited by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. Dr. Evans will serve as an associate dean at the veterinary college.
Lincoln Memorial received a letter of reasonable assurance of future accreditation of its veterinary college from the AVMA Council on Education in July 2013. The college is on target for provisional accreditation. It will accept its first class of 85 students this August and anticipates full accreditation in 2018 at the time those first students are graduating.
ASPCA, university offer master's in veterinary forensics
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the University of Florida's Maples Center for Forensic Medicine have announced a new online program that will give students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree in Veterinary Forensic Sciences from the university's College of Veterinary Medicine.
The two-year program will include courses that focus on pathology, osteology, animal law, and the intersection of farm animal welfare and the forensic sciences. The program begins in May.
The ASPCA and the University of Florida began a partnership in 2009 to meet the veterinary forensic science needs of individuals and agencies worldwide, including education, research, and applied casework. Information about the master's degree in veterinary forensics is available at www.forensicscience.ufl.edu/veterinary.
Croney chosen to head Purdue animal welfare center
Purdue University associate professor of animal sciences Candace Croney, PhD, began overseeing the university's new Center for Animal Welfare Science this February when it opened.
The mission of the Center for Animal Welfare Science is to promote the welfare of animals through innovation in research, education, and outreach. It hosts a large collaborative group of scientists working in a variety of related fields and brings together diverse, cross-disciplinary approaches to animal well-being issues in animal and poultry science, veterinary medicine, psychology, philosophy, genetics, public health, and zoology.
“Members of the sciences and animal industries are often perceived as being uncaring or tone-deaf on issues pertaining to animal well-being,” Dr. Croney said. “Purdue's investment in creating a Center for Animal Welfare Science is a timely and necessary step toward changing this perception. The new center will permit exploration of both the scientific and socioethical issues underlying public concerns.”
Dr. Croney will lead a center that includes scientists and educators from the Purdue colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and the Livestock Behavior Research Unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. Her responsibilities include soliciting both traditional and nontraditional sources of extramural funding for the center's research and outreach activities, serving as spokesperson and resource person on welfare issues in public policy, and disseminating knowledge, guidance, and expertise on animal welfare science through a variety of media.
In addition, Dr. Croney will develop and maintain national and international relationships with leaders in animal agriculture, animal welfare faculty at other universities and institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and the public.