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AVMA conference readies leaders for challenges and opportunities

Economy discussed; House of Delegates convenes

Raising up the next generation of veterinary leaders was the subtext of the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference held Jan. 9–11 in Chicago. The 476 movers and shakers of the veterinary profession who gathered for the conference included 60 Future Leaders who graduated within the last seven years. The AVMA covered the expenses for each Future Leader selected by an organization represented in the House of Delegates to attend the conference.

Sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. and Fort Dodge Animal Health, the conference provided an opportunity for attendees to participate in leadership development workshops (see page 438), engage in discussion of AVMA initiatives, and learn about important trends affecting the veterinary profession. Some presenters talked about the need for professional associations such as the AVMA need to reach out to new and recent graduates so as to prepare the next generation of leaders.

On Jan. 9, Hill's also sponsored a mini-Veterinary Leadership Experience for Future Leaders. The mini-VLE provided a forum for Future Leaders to connect and network with one another. It was also an opportunity for attendees to focus on topics such as self-awareness, communication, and leadership.

Dr. Richard DeBowes, an associate dean at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, who helped organize the mini-VLE and presented a conference workshop on servant leadership, said, “The Future Leaders program was the highlight of this year's AVMA leadership conference for me.

“Never have I met and worked with so many optimistic colleagues in one day. They were bright, energetic, and unfl agging in their enthusiasm for the possibility that their careers could rise beyond their greatest dreams. It was easy to feel very good about the future of our profession.”

The second AVMA House of Delegates regular winter session was also held during the conference (see page 436).

Political engagement

The opening speaker was Michael Dunn, a public affairs consultant from Washington, D.C. He discussed how veterinarians, individually and as a group, can inject their professional expertise into the federal policymaking process by cultivating relationships with members of Congress.

“The political process, as much as you hate it, is going to determine what the future of your profession will be,” Dunn said.

The AVMA Governmental Relations Division must contend with increasing limitations on lobbying, he said, but AVMA members can help promote veterinary interests as constituents of congressional districts.

Dunn presented a pyramid model of political infl uence in a congressional district. At the bottom of the pyramid are residents too young to vote. Next are residents who don't register to vote and then residents who register but don't vote. In the middle are residents who voted for a losing candidate. At the top are residents who voted for the winner, campaign contributors and volunteers, and campaign fundraisers and organizers.

Political action committees such as the AVMA PAC carry weight as a bloc of contributors with special interests, Dunn noted.

“You're telling the candidate what legislative issues provoked that support,” Dunn said.

State of the AVMA

AVMA President James O. Cook, in his year-end review before the HOD, continued his push for support of the National Animal Identification System.

He cited the devastating effects of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak a few years ago in England, which cost the government tens of millions of dollars and also impacted the agriculture and tourism industries. A 2007 report specifically noted the unreliability of livestock data as the problem in trying to contain the outbreak.

“Proper identification takes the guesswork out of finding and back-tracing cattle in possible disease events,” Dr. Cook said. “This is absolutely critical in protecting the health of this nation's herd and food supply.”

As of Jan. 19, 500,378 premises were registered with the NAIS; however, the program has not been without its hurdles.

The issue of confidentiality has been a bone of contention with producers, and also how they can recover the cost of implementing the program. Dr. Cook cited the Department of Agriculture's recently released NAIS tool kit as a great resource for veterinarians to help answer those questions from producers.

“Veterinarians carry a lot of credibility with producers and can create a vital role in getting the program started,” Dr. Cook said.

Moving on to the economy, Dr. Cook said “many of us worry pets and vets are going to be left out in the cold.” He encouraged veterinarians to work their hardest by providing compassionate care, not only for their patients but also their clients and their situations, while also focusing on preventive care and its benefits.

AVMA Treasurer Bret D. Marsh addressed the recession's impact on this past year's budget as well as future AVMA fiscal policy. The Association's largest revenue stream—member dues—comprises 57 percent of income. Dues came in as anticipated. Other revenue sources—classified ads and page ads in the journals; Annual Convention registration, exhibits, and sponsorships; and investment earnings—all decreased, according to projections.

The Association's investment portfolio took a sizable hit to the tune of $4.8 million, or a drop of about 28 percent. In terms of the 2008 fiscal year budget, the Association remains solvent despite a projection of $6.8 million in expenses exceeding income, which was originally anticipated to come in $118,400 in the black. The AVMA still maintains a reserve of approximately 100 percent of operating expenses.

“I think the real take-home message of the day is that (the budget) fundamentally worked,” Dr. Marsh said. “We have, for a number of years, enjoyed revenues that we put in our reserves just for a year like 2008. Yes, it's not pretty, and it's red, but it's a challenge and it worked.”

Looking to the 2009 fiscal year, unless the income from investments improves more than is expected, he predicts another deficit budget despite efforts by the Executive Board and staff to control or reduce costs.

Also, the Task Force for Future Roles and Expectations is looking at how best to use volunteer leadership efficiently and effectively. A forthcoming report will guide future budgets regarding specific volunteer activities, Dr. Marsh said.

Finally, the AVMA headquarters building's utility rates have been renegotiated, and savings with travel will be looked at, as will printing and postage costs. “Everything is on the table,” Dr. Marsh said.

AVMA staff are working on the 2010 fiscal year budget now. A draft should be reviewed in March, brought before the Executive Board for approval in April, and sent to the House of Delegates in July.

“To accomplish (a balanced budget and preserve long-term reserves), we may need more revenue. I don't know how much that may be, if anything, but we will determine that over the next few months,” Dr. Marsh said, noting that if there were a dues increase, it would be to serve the membership's long-term needs and accomplish the Association's strategic goals.

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Dr. Bret D. Marsh, AVMA treasurer, describes the recession's impact on the finances of the Association.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

AVMA Executive Vice President W. Ron DeHaven touched on progress seen with the AVMA's strategic goals and their importance to veterinary medicine.

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Dr. James O. Cook, AVMA president, outlines reasons to support the National Animal Identification System.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

“Indeed, we are facing some critical crossroads as a profession, but with those challenges come some real opportunities … to shape what the future of the profession will be in three to five years,” Dr. DeHaven said.

Among the activities so far is the development of a searchable database of its policies and a staff outreach to 90 law schools with animal law programs to explain the AVMA's perspective on animal-related legal issues.

When it comes to animal welfare issues, especially concerning food animals, the AVMA is working on connecting with other like-minded stakeholders who want to partner on certain positions, Dr. DeHaven said. The AVMA and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges will host an animal welfare symposium this November.

The AVMA hopes to strengthen the profession's economic viability through an online database of veterinary hospitals to help the public in locating veterinarians, expand the use of veterinary economic data, address pay inequities, and increase the number of veterinary technicians.

Dr. DeHaven also acknowledged a concern for veterinary education and said it is time for changes with regard to the current education model. Discussions on that topic will take place this year at meetings of the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium with the AVMA actively participating.

The Association also is taking steps to examine the feasibility of combining the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates Program with the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence, with the goal of having one testing program.

Another initiative to further brand veterinary medicine was recently rolled out in the form of logos developed for the Council on Education and the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities to identify programs they accredited.

An issue garnering a lot of attention is the pressing concern of diversity in the profession. Proving particularly difficult is addressing ethnic diversity, Dr. DeHaven said.

It must start with a coordinated strategy to reach out to minority students, because “we clearly as a profession don't refl ect the ethnic diversity of the general population,” he said.

Dr. Althea A. Jones, AVMA online professional services editor, said the AVMA's new online continuing education program, AVMA Ed, is the result of a highly complex project that involves content from the AVMA Annual Convention and JAVMA. About two-thirds of the 100 courses captured on video during the 2008 AVMA Annual Convention are online now, and the site has had about 6,000 visitors from 35 countries since going live Dec. 1, 2008.

Joanne Clevenger, AVMA special projects manager, said teachers are searching for free online materials for their classrooms, and the AVMA is working to provide rich content that is accessible online and is specialized by grade levels.

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Michael Dunn, a public affairs consultant, discusses how veterinarians can promote their interests in Washington, D.C.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

“We believe there is going to be a lot more content on our Web pages over the next several years to encourage teachers to come on a regular basis,” Clevenger said.

The AVMA is also reaching out to teachers and students through the National FFA Organization, National Association of Agricultural Educators, and National Science Teachers Association, Clevenger said. She encouraged attendees to take advantage of the AVMA's educational materials, share them with colleagues, and work with youths at the state and local levels.

The only declared candidate for AVMA president-elect, Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, gave a short address, as did AVMA Vice President Gary S. Brown. Dr. Brown is seeking a second term in office.

Dr. Melanie A. Marsden, a practice owner from Colorado Springs, Colo., spoke about how generational differences may impact the future of organized veterinary medicine. “Who will today's AVMA leaders turn the baton over to?” she asked, reminding attendees they have an obligation to ask others to get involved in their professional associations.

Dr. Marsden encouraged the AVMA to continue dedicating resources to nurturing and recruiting veterinary students and recent graduates who will one day lead the organization.

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Peter Sheahan, an Australian speaker and author, talks about working with Generation Y.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

Parting thoughts

Engaging and managing Generation Y in veterinary practice and organizational leadership was the focus of closing speaker Peter Sheahan, a native of New South Wales.

A generational and workforce trend expert, Sheahan cited a survey that showed 71 percent of people would volunteer if asked, compared with 29 percent who volunteer of their own accord.

“I've heard a couple times today, young people don't want to get involved,” Sheahan said. “Is it our responsibility to engage them or their responsibility to engage?”

Drawing from surveys, he said young people today do a pretty good job of volunteering their time, energy, and resources. They're doing less of it for religious reasons, however. And women—especially married women—volunteer more than men.

Sheahan illustrated three traits that are key to engaging the Y generation, born between 1978 and 1994: fast—they were raised with fast food and credit cards and look for things to happen quickly; connected—they are technologically savvy and highly connected to Web sites, many of which are structured for participants to create content, such as YouTube, Wikipedia, and Flickr; and stimulating—Sheahan gave examples of companies that customize products or experiences for young people, such as the Toyota Scion, the political movement Generation Engage, even “American Idol,” which gives viewers control through voting.

Characteristics of successful Gen Y movements and associations, according to Sheahan, include a compelling purpose, powerful social identification, technology support/enhancement, participatory/co-creation, and relatable leadership.

Sheahan encouraged the profession to develop customized opportunities for Gen Y and to offer them virtually whenever they evolve to a national level. “Pajama participation” enables mass participation from home and idea submission through wiki-based technology.

He suggested starting some projects and events built around issues important to Gen Y—projects that are event-driven, globally local, pajamabased, conductive to volunteering, and never patronizing.

“Animal welfare was off the Richter scale in surveys of this profession, and this could be a hook,” he said.

Most “youth” positions in leadership are token, he said, seeking input only on youth issues. Space and opportunities for full involvement must be created.

“The number one secret to a good relationship,” Sheahan said, “is … a sense of genuinely valuing people.”

–MALINDA OSBORNE, R. SCOTT NOLEN, KATIE BURNS, SUSAN C. KAHLER

EPA proposal on incinerators catches AVMA's eye

The AVMA is monitoring the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to tighten performance standards and emission guidelines for incinerators used to dispose of hospital, medical, and infectious wastes.

The EPA's proposal to amend regulations governing the use of these types of incinerators was published in the Dec. 1, 2008, Federal Register.

If finalized, the new rules are expected to minimally impact veterinary practices, according to Dr. Lynne White-Shim, an assistant director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division.

“The bottom line is that, upon studying the issue and consulting veterinarians in this field, we found it unlikely to affect veterinarians much at all, except perhaps for slight increases in costs for incineration services—not cremation, but rather incineration of things such as plastic syringes and the like,” Dr. White-Shim said.

The AVMA will not be commenting by the proposal deadline but will continue monitoring the issue for new developments. The comment deadline is Feb. 17, 2009.

Background on the proposal is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-27732.pdf.

HOD revises antimicrobials in livestock feeds policy

Resolutions on veal calf management, veterinary student debt relief passed

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(Courtesy of USDA/ARS)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

Several AVMA Bylaws amendments and policy proposals were on the agenda for the second regular winter session of the House of Delegates, which convened Jan. 10 in Chicago as part of the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference.

AVMA President-elect Larry M. Corry presided over the session, where delegates considered five proposed Bylaws amendments and nine resolutions.

In the past, the HOD considered policy proposals only at its regular annual session that ran in conjunction with the Annual Convention. Recent revisions to the AVMA Bylaws now allow delegates to conduct business at the winter session as well.

Delegates approved only one of five proposed bylaws amendments. The revision they accepted allows the AVMA vice president to serve a single, two-year term. Previously, the vice president could serve two consecutive one-year terms but had to run for re-election after the first term. The bylaws change will affect the 2010–2011 vice presidential election.

Also of note, the HOD disapproved a Bylaws amendment that would have sunset the AVMA Council on Communications. The drive to end the council started with a recommendation from the AVMA Governance Performance Review Committee. This past November the Executive Board agreed that the communications council had lost its direction and approved the proposal to sunset the entity.

The HOD disagreed with the board's recommendation, however, and voted down the Bylaws change needed to end the council. Delegates who spoke against the proposal commended the AVMA Communications Division for its work but said they consider the council a vital vehicle for member input on the Association's message topics.

The nine resolutions submitted to the HOD dealt with a number of issues, such as guidelines for veal calf management and veterinary student debt relief. Two differing proposals to amend the AVMA policy on Antimicrobials in Livestock Feeds received the most attention from delegates, however. Though similar in many ways, resolutions 6 and 9 were different enough to provoke lengthy discussion among delegates.

Ultimately, the HOD approved Resolution 6, submitted by the American Association of Avian Pathologists, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and the Alabama VMA.

Proponents of Resolution 6 explained that it amends the AVMA policy to stress the need to proactively address antimicrobial resistance through science-based risk analysis. The revised policy reads as follows:

Antimicrobials in Livestock Feeds

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves antimicrobials used in livestock feeds to prevent, control, or treat certain diseases (therapeutic uses); or to promote growth or increase feed efficiency. The availability and effectiveness of antimicrobials are important for maintaining the health and welfare of food producing animals and ensuring human food safety.

The AVMA supports a transparent FDA drug approval process that is rigorous and based on substantial scientific evidence supported by data and that includes an assessment of food safety. The AVMA believes FDA must continue to rely on robust antimicrobial resistance surveillance (e.g., National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System) and on science to evaluate possible public health impacts. Because of the national interest in ensuring food safety and public health and because of the interstate movement of animals and products in modern food production, the AVMA believes that a nationally coordinated effort is the only way to effectively address the issue of antimicrobial resistance.

All regulatory or legislative actions should be transparent and based on scientific risk analysis. Risk analysis should continue to evaluate the risks and benefits to animal health and welfare in addition to the risks and benefits to human health attributed to uses in animals. Risk analysis includes risk assessment, risk communication, and risk management actions that are commensurate with the level of actual risk. Risk management options are not limited to withdrawal of approval of use; review by the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee; and limitations of use such as use in only certain species or changing to a Veterinary Feed Directive drug.

The AVMA recognizes that more data are needed to complete a risk analysis on the public health significance of many antimicrobial uses in livestock feeds. The AVMA supports access to the data and actions necessary to conduct an accurate scientific risk assessment to facilitate risk-based decisions concerning the appropriate and judicious use of antimicrobials. We urge the FDA and other public health agencies, as well as veterinarians, livestock producers, and pharmaceutical companies to cooperatively support scientific studies needed to close the data gaps. The AVMA seeks input and support for a concerted and coordinated effort to obtain the data necessary to conduct assessments to enable risk-based decisions concerning use.

The AVMA recognizes the importance of antimicrobials that are also used in human medicine. To further safeguard public health and to maintain the long-term effectiveness of antimicrobials, the AVMA supports a science based medical evaluation to determine the appropriate use of such antimicrobials in animals. If determined through a risk analysis, the use of such antimicrobials by and under the control and direction of a veterinarian. Veternarians are professionally educated, trained, and licensed, and should retain primary responsibility for the use of important antimicrobials. The AVMA emphasizes the importance of the role of the veterinarian, the existence of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and the appropriate and judicious use of antimicrobials in animals.

The AVMA urges veterinarians to continually assess and critically review the uses of antimicrobials in livestock feed. Veterinarians should also recommend preventive practices to minimize the need for antimicrobials.

The AVMA welcomes stakeholder input and cooperation.

The New Jersey and Maine VMAs submitted Resolution 9, which they said would revise the policy to emphasize the role of the veterinarian as the only individual with the authority to allow use of antimicrobials in livestock feeds.

There were, however, concerns that if Resolution 9 were approved, the AVMA would be committed to supporting broad legislative and regulatory initiatives to limit or restrict the availability of over-the-counter antimicrobials in livestock feeds in circumstances when no scientific basis for doing so exists and when the infrastructure is not in place to ethically manage the increased workload.

Despite the HOD's approval of an amendment to the resolution—offered by the New Jersey VMA to allay concerns of its critics—delegates still disapproved the proposal.

Additionally, the HOD approved the following proposals:

  • • Resolution 1, submitted by the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians and American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, directs the AVMA to urge the Department of Agriculture to make student loan debt relief available for veterinary diagnosticians and veterinarians pursuing residencies and advanced degrees who work in food animal veterinary diagnostic laboratories.

  • • Resolution 3, submitted by the House Advisory Committee, revises the Manual of the House of Delegates to allow reference committees to submit resolutions that pertain to the business of the committee, for consideration by the HOD.

  • • Resolution 4, submitted by the HAC, American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, and National Association of Federal Veterinarians, calls on the AVMA to urge the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service to re-establish and fill the position of chief veterinary public health officer. Dr. William James, an FSIS representative who attended the VLC, said the agency believes the chief veterinary public health officer is, indeed, an important position. He noted that he has assumed the responsibilities of that position in addition to his regular duties at FSIS.

  • • Resolution 5, submitted by the HAC, revises the HOD Manual so that council positions that remain open for too long can be temporarily reclassified to at-large positions.

  • • Resolution 7, submitted by the Missouri, Rhode Island, and Florida VMAs, directs the AVMA to continue its support of the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience for an additional four years after the current support ends with the conclusion of the 2009 AVMA VLE.

  • • Resolution 10, submitted by the AVMA Executive Board, is the new AVMA policy on Veal Calf Management, which supersedes the policies Veal Calf Welfare and Veal Calf Housing.

The HOD disapproved Resolution 2, which would have changed the service of council members from a six-year to a three-year term. The Alabama VMA withdrew Resolution 8. It would have allowed nonweighted voting for informational purposes only in the HOD following official weighted voting on animal welfare resolutions.

–R. SCOTT NOLEN

Animal welfare, advocacy among conference workshop topics

Educational programs offered during January's leadership conference in Chicago

AVMA staff members explained in two workshops in January why the profession needs representation in government and how animal welfare policy is formed.

The development sessions were among five offered during the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, Chicago, Jan. 9–11 (see page 432).

Other workshop topics were membership involvement as a recruitment and retention tool, legal issues facing not-for-profit organizations, and leading practices in serving clients.

Promoting good laws and killing bad ones

Adrian Hochstadt, JD, assistant director for state legislative and regulatory affairs in the AVMA Communications Division, said in a workshop on federal, state, and local advocacy that individual veterinarians can have an especially large impact in their state legislative districts when they present well-written, science-based materials and develop personal relationships with lawmakers. He noted that veterinarians enjoy a high degree of public trust and are largely seen as honest, which helps with advocacy.

Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division, said during the workshop that establishing relationships and credibility with state legislators can help the profession and potentially have national impact if they decide to seek federal office. He also encouraged veterinarians to visit members of Congress when they are home in their district offices or conducting town hall meetings in the district.

Members like to hear from their constituents and are often more relaxed and able to provide quality time when they are home, he said.

Hochstadt said the AVMA supports state veterinary medical associations in several ways, including legislative and regulatory alerts, assistance in finding coalition partners, drafting of testimony and talking points, background information, and grassroots training.

The AVMA is also performing out-reach to law schools in connection with the issues of noneconomic damages and the value of pets. Hochstadt said it is important for future attorneys and judges to hear the veterinary profession's perspective on animal law.

The Vermont Supreme Court could rule this year on a case involving such noneconomic damages and pets. A lawsuit against a veterinarian and a compounding pharmacy alleges two cats died after they ate amlodipine chew tabs with a higher-than-prescribed drug concentration.

Among other issues that could come up in 2009, Hochstadt noted that California was yet to decide whether to tax veterinary services along with nonmedical services such as furniture repair.

“In this economic climate, it's not a surprise that taxes on services are being floated as a panacea,” Hochstadt said.

Dr. Lutschaunig said the AVMA plans to work with the 111th Congress on issues of workforce expansion, funding and implementation of the National Veterinary Medical Service Act, funding for the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank, pay equity for veterinarians aligned with that of other health professionals who perform similar federal jobs, pet insurance, antimicrobial use in food animals, animal welfare, and small businesses.

He also said the AVMA Congressional Action Network is being rejuvenated with the goal of having an AVMA champion in every federal congressional district.

The AVMA PAC raised $443,000 in the 110th Congress through nearly 3,300 member contributions, Dr. Lutschaunig said. The PAC gave $480,500 to 162 candidates and national political parties during that term.

Taking action on animal welfare

In another workshop, Animal Welfare Division members explained how AVMA animal welfare policy is developed. Discussion progressed to how policies may be implemented and the various approaches to public policy, including the emergence of ballot initiatives.

Animal welfare scientist Emily Patterson-Kane, PhD, began by explaining that the basis of AVMA policy development is scientific knowledge and the practical aspects of application.

After researching the existing science and discussing related issues with stakeholders, the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee submits its recommendation(s) for policy or action on a subject to the Executive Board for its decision. An alternative path is through the House of Delegates. Resolutions may come to the HOD via member petition, an organization seated in the HOD, or the Executive Board.

Requests for action on an animal welfare issue may come from myriad sources, including committee or council members, constituent groups, nongovernmental organizations, staff, or the public. Dr. Patterson-Kane emphasized the importance of members' expertise in creating good policy.

“Diverse and expert input is critical if our policies are to be science-based, comprehensive, and practical,” she said.

However, the path of a policy sometimes can be more complicated, which was the case with the AVMA's position on Proposition 2, a ballot initiative requiring that egg-laying hens, veal calves, and pregnant sows have room enough to lie down, stand, turn around, and fully extend their limbs.

In August 2008, the AVMA released a statement on the referendum after much debate on the merits of taking a position and what position to take, Dr. Patterson-Kane said.

Animal Welfare Division Director Gail C. Golab explained that while the Association generally defers to state VMAs on local issues, “When an issue has national implications, the AVMA recognizes its responsibility and others' expectations that we will provide some kind of guidance or response.”

Dr. Patterson-Kane said the AVMA statement tried to communicate that while Proposition 2 was well-intentioned, the crafters of the proposal did not consider critical aspects of animal welfare. She conceded the issue did not lend itself well to the news media process.

“It was mostly interpreted as ‘AVMA opposes Prop 2,’ which was predictable but what we were doing our best to avoid,” Dr. Patterson-Kane said. “We wanted to acknowledge the existence of some welfare concerns but also encourage people to ask themselves whether Proposition 2 was the best way to address them. We recognize the issue and our message was complex, but the time is gone when not responding is an option when something reaches this level of impact.”

She said state ballot initiatives may become more common because of the increasing propensity by animal protection groups such as the Humane Society of the United States to put animal-related issues on statewide referendums, bypassing the legislative process. The HSUS first began its ballot initiative campaign with Proposition 117. It targeted the hunting of mountain lions and was passed in 1990 in California.

Dr. Golab said, “Commonly, stakeholders' refusal to communicate is what creates the opportunity for ballot initiatives. Good animal welfare decisions generally reflect contributions of expertise from multiple perspectives. If you want to have influence as well as good outcomes, you need to engage early in the process.”

–GREG CIMA AND MALINDA OSBORNE

AVMA launches ‘Chew on This’ podcast series on food safety

From holiday meals to unpasteurized milk, the AVMA's new podcast series “Chew on This” examines issues relevant to food safety and the nation's food supply.

“America's veterinarians play key roles in food safety, and these podcasts offer us an opportunity to speak directly to consumers—many of whom may not be tuned in to the latest science and research surrounding the food we eat,” said Dr. James Cook, AVMA president. “We're going to explore and investigate many of today's burning topics surrounding food—where it comes from, how it gets to our tables, and why it's important to keep our food safe, abundant, and affordable.”

“Chew on This” kicked off in late November with a Thanksgiving installment featuring Dr. Dustan Clark, extension poultry veterinarian at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Dr. Clark answers questions about how to ensure that holiday meals are safe for the family.

Subsequent installments in the series address the pasteurization of dairy products, the safety of food from animal clones, and the intersection of politics and food safety. The podcasts feature Dr. Raymond Sweeney of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; Barbara Glenn, PhD, of the Biotechnology Industry Organization; and Dr. Wayne Allard, who served two terms in the U.S. Senate representing Colorado.

Additional podcasts will explore topics such as organic foods, the identification of food animals and products, and food imports.

The “Chew on This” series is available at www.avma.org under “RSS feeds,” through Apple's iTunes, or through the AVMA advocacy site at www.KeepOurFoodSafe.org.

Many faces, one profession

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Front row: Drs. Dorothy Lisa Parshley, Christopher Chase, and Ching Ching Wu. Back row: Drs. John Gay, Vernon Langston, Richard Forfa, Edward Javorka, Mark Wood, John Waddell, and Donald Sawyer. Not pictured: Drs. John Edward Branam and Lionel Reilly.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents

Charge/mission: Act as an information and advisory resource to the Executive Board and other agents of the Association on issues pertaining to biologic and therapeutic agents.

Members:

Dr. Christopher Chase (ISU '80), chair, South Dakota Sate University Department of Veterinary Science; representing immunology

Dr. Mark Wood (AUB '83), vice chair; Bogart, Ga.; member at-large

Dr. John Edward Branam (MSU '77), Sacramento, Calif.; representing industry, exclusive

Dr. Richard Forfa (PAR '80), Monocacy Equine Veterinary Associates, Beallsville, Md.; representing private clinical practice—predominantly equine

Dr. John Gay (WSU '78), Washington State University Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences; representing epidemiology

Dr. Edward Javorka (PUR '82), Gary, Ind.; representing private clinical practice—predominantly small animal

Dr. Vernon Langston (MIS '81), Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine; representing clinical pharmacology

Dr. Dorothy Lisa Parshley (COL '03), VCA Raleigh Hills Animal Hospital, Portland, Ore.; member at-large

Dr. Lionel Reilly (KSU '70), Professional Veterinary Products Ltd., Elkhorn, Neb.; member at-large

Dr. Donald Sawyer (MSU '61), Okemos, Mich.; representing pharmacology

Dr. John Waddell (IL '81), Sutton Veterinary Clinic, Sutton, Neb.; representing private clinical practice—predominantly food animal

Ching Ching Wu (TAI '80), Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory; representing microbiology

What current project(s) are you most excited about?

Assistant director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division, Dr. Lynne A. White-Shim, said COBTA continues to provide in-depth scientific opinions to the AVMA for reference documents, communications, and federal correspondences, including topics such as the need for continued availability of antimicrobials for animal patients.

A recent meaningful accomplishment:

Recently the Food and Drug Administration withdrew its previously published Order of Prohibition on extralabel use of cephalosporins in food-producing animals.

“COBTA contributed significantly to AVMA's correspondence with the FDA regarding its assertion that such an order would be deleterious to animal health and that there is a lack of scientific evidence showing significant risk to human health by extralabel use of cephalosporins in food-producing animals,” Dr. White-Shim said.

How is your entity addressing the profession's pressing issues?

New questions and concerns arise from various levels of government surrounding issues such as disposal of drugs, prescription writing, availability of veterinary drugs, vaccine efficacy and vaccine use recommendations, and controlled substances inquiries. At its meetings, COBTA evaluates these and other timely issues.

How is the entity addressing the strategic or operational goals of the AVMA?

Chair Christopher Chase said COBTA is committed to advocacy for veterinary medicine in the areas of therapeutics and biologicals. Along with the Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee, COBTA interacts directly with representatives of the animal health industry and the federal government. This allows the veterinary profession, through the AVMA, to have a major advocacy position with government and industry. COBTA also provides an educational component for the membership by developing materials on biologics and therapeutics.

More than 400 positions exist on AVMA councils, committees, and task forces. To showcase the diverse backgrounds and expertise of the volunteers who serve on them and to inspire even more AVMA members to participate, JAVMA News will feature a few entities each month. To be a candidate for one of the current vacancies, go to www.avma.org/about_avma/governance/volunteering, or contact officeevp@avma.org.

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Front row: Drs. Lisa Becton, Kurt Sladky, and Charles Lemme. Back row: Drs. Mark Wood, Lorraine Jarboe, David Wallace, Fred Gingrich, Danny Magee (alternate for Dr. John French), and Justin Janssen.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee

Charge/mission: To serve as an advisory committee to the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and ensure wide species-based, veterinary practitioner input on issues of biologic and therapeutic agents.

Members:

Dr. Mark Wood (AUB '83), chair; Bogart, Ga.; representing the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents

Dr. Lisa Becton (NCU '94), National Pork Board, Harris, Mo.; representing the American Association of Swine Veterinarians

Dr. John French (GA '84), Bogart, Ga.; representing the American Association of Avian Pathologists

Dr. Karl Gingrich (OSU '95), Keystone Veterinary Services, Ashland, Ohio; representing the American Association of Bovine Practitioners

Dr. Justin Janssen (KSU '72), Alma, Kan.; representing the American Association of Equine Practitioners

Dr. Lorraine Jarboe (OSU '79), Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; representing the American Association of Feline Practitioners

Dr. Charles Lemme (ISU '75), Blairs Ferry Pet Hospital PC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; representing the American Animal Hospital Association

Dr. Kurt Sladky (WIS '93), University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, representing the zoo and wildlife medicine

Dr. David Wallace (KSU '75), Sunflower Veterinary Service, Minneapolis, Kan.; representing the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners

What current project(s) are you most excited about?

The Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee, along with other entities, has advised the AVMA to develop management tools for veterinary clinicians to use as a reference. The CPAC believes veterinarians already have environmentally sound business practices that limit waste, including tight inventory control and transfer of unused pharmaceuticals back to distribution companies. Moreover, veterinarian implementation of the management tools is expected to further decrease wastes contributed by veterinary facilities, said Dr. Lynne A. White-Shim, an assistant director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division.

A recent meaningful accomplishment:

Recently the CPAC contributed substantial guidance incorporated into correspondence that AVMA shared with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the minimal contribution of drug wastes and hazardous wastes by veterinary facilities, according to Dr. White-Shim.

How is your entity addressing the profession's pressing issues?

The CPAC has the opportunity to provide practical clinical expertise on the profession's pressing issues. As COBTA's advisory committee, the CPAC serves as an initial sounding board on critical and timely issues. The COBTA closely considers the advice shared by the CPAC on these issues regarding biologic and therapeutic agents used in veterinary medicine, Dr. White-Shim said.

How is the entity addressing the strategic or operational goals of the AVMA?

Chair Mark Wood said the CPAC serves to routinely provide broad, species-based veterinary practitioner input to the COBTA regarding biologic and therapeutic agents. “This diverse and clinically relevant input assists the AVMA to be a more effective advocate for the veterinary profession by helping to address emerging local, state, and federal issues that can potentially impact the availability and/or use of these products,” Dr. Wood said.

Set sail for Seattle and the AVMA convention

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Attendees at the 2009 AVMA Annual Convention can sample the Seattle scene while earning up to 40 hours of continuing education credit.

The 146th AVMA Annual Convention is July 11–14 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle, not far from the waterfront and the city's famous Pike Place Market. Advance registration opened Jan. 15 at the convention Web site, www.avmaconvention.org.

The AVMA again is offering 50-minute educational sessions as well as interactive labs and hands-on computer classes. The two-hour lunch break in the schedule will allow time to explore the exhibit hall or walk to nearby shops and restaurants.

The convention Web site features a one-minute video tour of Seattle's highlights with narration by Dr. Sandy Willis, a native of the city and Washington's alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. Dr. Willis invites convention attendees to indulge in local culinary specialties such as wine, salmon, and coffee. Seattle also is child-friendly, she says, with attractions including the Space Needle.

July is the least rainy month in the verdant Emerald City, and temperatures usually top out in the 70s during the summer. Visitors who venture farther afield can catch a ferry to the towns across the Puget Sound or travel to the Olympic and Cascade mountains.

Special events at the convention include the Fort Dodge Comedy Kickoff, Bayer Bash, and Merial Concert Series. The Hill's Opening Session will focus on a message about teamwork from the fish-flinging staff of the Pike Place Fish Market. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation again is organizing a voluntourism project to combine volunteerism with tourism.

Convention attendees can start planning now by checking www.avmaconvention.org for Seattle visitor and travel information. The General Information section provides the basic convention schedule, hotel/downtown map, and information about ground transportation. The section for frequently asked questions offers answers to the most common inquiries in five categories.

A link on the convention Web site connects directly to the secure online registration and housing site. Online registrants can tell in real time which hotel options and prices are still available.

The AVMA offers advance registration from Jan. 15-April 13, preconvention registration from April 14-June 12, and on-site registration from July 10–14. With each registration period, the fees increase by $25 to $50, depending on the registration category.

New assistant editor for Publications Division

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Dr. Carla M.K. Morrow

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

After a long and thorough search, the AVMA Publications Division has filled a vacancy for assistant editor. Dr. Carla M.K. Morrow joined the staff Oct. 20, 2008, after she received her doctorate in veterinary biosciences from the University of Illinois that same month.

Dr. Morrow received her DVM degree from Iowa State University in 1994. She became board-certified by the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology in 2003.

In addition to writing several abstracts for national meetings, she has been an author on numerous articles that have been published in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation and the Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian. Before beginning her postdoctoral academic career, Dr. Morrow provided clinical, surgical, and diagnostic veterinary medical services for companion animals at a practice in Fremont, Neb., for six years.

Dr. Morrow said she applied for the editor position because it conveniently combined the best of her skill sets—scientific research and veterinary medicine.

“I realized I like reading and evaluating the scientific literature better than laboratory work,” Dr. Morrow said of her time working on her doctorate.

GHLIT backs SAVMA obesity awareness campaign

SAVMA's One Health Challenge III to draw attention to health risks of obesity in people and pets

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Obesity is a public health crisis in the United States. More than a quarter of the nation's population is considered obese, with a body mass index of 30 or above—which is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, diabetes, and degenerative joint disease.

But obesity isn't just a human problem. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that nearly half the nation's pets are classified as overweight or obese by a veterinary health care provider, including 43 percent of dogs and 53 percent of cats. As with humans, obese pets are at risk for heart problems, diabetes, and joint and hip difficulties.

“Definitely, obesity in animals is a growing problem,” said Dr. Derrick D. Hall, an AVMA assistant director of membership and field services and co-adviser to the Student AVMA. “The big thing with animals is that it's a controllable problem. The person feeds the animal; the animal isn't out ordering McDonalds. [Lack of] exercise is a huge issue, too. People are busy and don't have time to exercise themselves or their pets.”

The AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust has long recognized the dangers of obesity in humans and pets—and the positive impact that losing weight through healthier eating and regular exercise can have on quality of life for both. That is why GHLIT is supporting SAVMA's One Health Challenge III, Obesity Awareness, with a $20,000 grant to help underwrite educational programs and other activities designed to empower individuals to take control of their health and the health of their pets.

One Health Challenge

The One Health Challenge began in 2007 in conjunction with the AVMA's push for a One Health Initiative. Each year, SAVMA adopts an individual health cause to champion that also allows the organization to build partnerships with colleagues in medical and public health schools.

The decision to focus on obesity was prompted in part by the launch of the PetFit Challenge, a joint effort between AVMA and Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. that encourages veterinary health care teams and their clients to make positive changes in pets' weight management.

“We wanted One Health Challenge III to focus on something that causes problems for both humans and animals. We also wanted it to be something that people in the U.S. could identify with,” said Ryan Colburn, a student at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and SAVMA's ad hoc global and public health officer. “Human and pet obesity is a good focus for a national campaign.”

SAVMA is currently working to establish partnerships with the American Medical Association's Medical Student Section and the American Public Health Association's Student Assembly to create an obesity awareness campaign and design educational programs and events that can be held at participating student chapters nationwide. Early plans include activities such as walks and 5-K runs that owners can participate in with their pets.

Routine exercise

Tapping into the human-animal bond is an effective strategy for motivating people to make healthier eating and exercise choices. Often, pets provide their owners with the impetus they need to incorporate more exercise into their daily routines—one of the most important aspects of any weight-loss program.

“Dogs love to go on walks and runs, which increases the owner's activity level,” Dr. Hall said. “The dog and the person can get a great deal of enjoyment from it. Plus, increased activity levels have the same result for people and animals; they'll burn more calories and lose weight.”

Exercise not only boosts metabolism, but research also has shown that increasing activity levels while eating properly is more effective for weight loss than just changing eating habits. For humans, the recommendation is a minimum of 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise five times a week. Before beginning any new exercise routine for themselves or their pets, humans should contact their health care provider and veterinarian.

For ideas on how pet owners can spend those 30 minutes exercising with their pets, personal trainer Gunnar Peterson created special exercise videos for the PetFit campaign that demonstrate a variety of ways owners can exercise themselves and their cats and/or dogs. The videos are available on the PetFit Web site at www.petfit.com.

Healthy diet

Adopting healthier eating habits also is important for weight loss in pets and humans. Veterinarians should work with owners to help them understand pets' nutritional needs and to discourage unhealthy snacks such as table scraps.

A good tactic is to educate pet owners about how snacks amount to more food for pets than people, proportionately. An ounce of cheddar cheese fed to a 20-pound dog is the rough equivalent of one-anda-half hamburgers for a human. For a 10-pound cat, that same ounce of cheese is the equivalent of three-anda-half hamburgers. A cup of milk for a 10-pound cat is the equivalent of four- and-a-half hamburgers for a human, and one hot dog fed to a 20-pound dog equals two hamburgers.

People who plan to reduce their own caloric intake should check first with their physician to ensure their health status allows the diet change.

–PREPARED BY THE AVMA GROUP HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE TRUST

One-health wonders

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Dr. Thomas G. Ksiazek

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

Thomas G. Ksiazek, DVM, PhD, has seen some of the deadliest diseases on the planet.

As chief of the Special Pathogens Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Ksiazek led the agency's research of Rift Valley fever, Ebola, Marburg, arenaviruses and hanta-viruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome virus, Nipah, and other viruses that cause severe disease in humans or livestock.

Shortly after graduating from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Ksiazek joined the Air Force, beginning a decades-long public health career that included a stint as head of the Rapid Diagnosis Department at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He's participated in efforts to control outbreaks of disease in Asia, Africa, and North and South America.

Dr. Ksiazek recently retired from the CDC for a job in academia: he's joined the faculty at the Galveston National Laboratory at The University of Texas Medical Branch.

How has your veterinary training helped your public health work?

I spent 21 years in the military, so all of my formal training in public health came after veterinary school. I was an Air Force officer for 13 years, and they had programs that sent folks back to graduate school, so the first set of training I did culminated in a master's degree in virology, particularly arthropodborne viruses, and that got me started in a career interested not so much in veterinary problems but human health problems. I'd attribute a lot of that as direction from the (Defense Department's) use of veterinarians for public health or the health of operational troops. I did several tours of duty in Southeast Asia looking at arthropod-borne viruses and their impact on human populations. The ecology of these viruses often involves vertebrate animals so that the training of the veterinarian does fit in with that very well. Veterinarians employ their knowledge about animal populations, animal husbandry, and how people depend on animals, along with the human aspects. That's a real advantage.

You've dealt with a number of “hot” pathogens around the world, including the Ugandan strain of the Ebola virus. What has your experience taught you about zoonotic diseases?

There are lots of “new” pathogens that aren't necessarily new. We find out about them in various ways, such as improving health systems in the developing world. These pathogens are not being created de novo; they're out there, and maybe we're identifying them at an increased rate. Most of these diseases come not necessarily from domestic species, although some incidents we've been involved in often involve (the pathogens) moving out of nature into a domestic species, and then becoming more of a risk to the human population. A good example of that would be Nipah virus in Malaysia. It naturally exists in bat (flying fox) populations but occasionally gets into other species. The outbreak in Malaysia had to do with this becoming a contagious disease among pigs. SARS has a sort of similar aspect to it where, again, a virus that appears now to have come from bat populations got transferred into wild species that were being raised for commercial purposes—raccoon dogs and civets—and then that got transferred, via the restaurant trade, into the human population.

Contact with these pathogens increases as travel in the developing world increases. More and more people can travel from areas where, in the past, they probably would have lived their entire lives in larger cities that are connected to the rest of the world by airline flights. I can be in Atlanta or Galveston within less than a day from some of these remote sites. Ecotourism is another issue. It puts people in a situation where not only can these diseases occur but they can also be transferred to more populous areas where they can cause problems in large cities.

Does this worry you?

There is a lot of concern about intentional introductions via bioterrorism, but history is pretty clear there are plenty of other naturally occurring problems out there. My tendency is to emphasize these naturally occurring events and that we invest in those and not spend all of our efforts and resources on biodefense programs. Pointed examples would include the large economic crises brought on by AIDS and SARS. These are real international security issues that result from naturally emerging threats rather than those brought about by our political adversaries.

Why was the CDC's Special Pathogens Branch created?

In the 1970s, Lassa virus, Machupo virus, and other pathogens were the real-life equivalent to “The Andromeda Strain,” which was a media event prevalent at the time. As a result, the government decided to make an investment in a team of scientists that could find out more about these pathogens, develop a knowledge base on them, and have special laboratory facilities that could support that knowledge base. Special laboratories were created to deal safely with these pathogens. On the civilian side, this work was carried on in Atlanta while the biodefense part was carried on at Fort Detrick.

The question in the military and Special Pathogens Branch was how do you learn more about these high-hazard pathogens? It can be done in a couple of ways; in endemic situations, you can establish a field station and work with local health authorities trying to gain more in-depth understanding of the pathogen and its ecology. Then there's the emergence of new infections of some impact; when this happens, you provide assistance in epidemic situations. Both situations have been extremely profitable in learning more about the diseases and their natural maintenance. When you consider this era of bioterrorism, what we know about these diseases and threat agents largely comes from research by those at Detrick and Special Pathogens. They're not the only folks who do it, but they're among the most prominent and most successful.

Given your decades of researching emerging infectious diseases, first for the DOD and then the CDC, what can you say about veterinary medicine's role in biosecurity?

There are aspects of veterinary medicine tied to agriculture security. Some diseases, if they were introduced into our livestock populations, would cut off our ability to trade with the rest of the world or greatly diminish our trading ability. That's where the primary focus is. Many of these diseases are zoonotic and may emerge in pet, wildlife, or zoo populations. West Nile virus encephalitis is a good example of this. Veterinarians are well-prepared and uniquely placed to deal with many of these circumstances.

Do you feel it's necessary for more veterinarians to be involved in less traditional career fields, specifically virology and the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases?

I do. My career is more public-health oriented. I elected to go into the military; but, looking back on my career, I certainly employed my veterinary education. It was a benefit to the military, but it's helped me carry on in a career beyond the time I spent in the military—the public health arena, government, and now academia.

Do you have any opinions about how to encourage more veterinarians into these areas?

Organizations like the AVMA should continue spotlighting how some folks contribute to public health, and that may help raise awareness. Field exercises where we're helping with epidemics—those types of exposures often turn people's career direction considerably. So opportunities for people to go abroad are key. There are opportunities for people to take short-term training experiences during their time at veterinary school, at the CDC, and other places where they can get a look at public health. More traditionally, veterinarians have been involved in activities like meat inspection. That's an important role, but it's not terribly exciting compared to some of the other aspects of public health.

–INTERVIEW BY R. SCOTT NOLEN

University Web site to educate about public health, agriculture

Johns Hopkins University launched in December a Web site intended to aid research and provide information on links between public health and agriculture.

The site, the Agriculture & Public Health Gateway, was created through the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health. Information from the university indicates the site is also intended to increase access to reliable information and facilitate knowledge sharing and collaborative dialogue.

The site can be used to search for research articles, white papers, reports, fact sheets, brochures, databases, books, videos, consumer guides, news media articles, and other information sources, according to information on the site. It also contains links to event listings, glossaries, newsletters, and photos and images.

The site is located at http://aphg.jhsph.edu.

Animal-use antimicrobial sales up; manufacturers report more growth use of ionophores

Antimicrobial use in animals increased about 5 percent from 2006 to 2007, according to information from the Animal Health Institute.

Antimicrobials are used in animals for four purposes: disease treatment, disease control, disease prevention, and growth promotion and feed efficiency.

In a statement released in November 2008, the institute noted U.S. meat production increased by more than 2 billion pounds from 2006 to 2007, which may have contributed to the increase in antimicrobial use.

AHI figures also appear to indicate the percentage of antimicrobials used for growth and efficiency rose in 2007 from 5 percent to 13 percent. Ron Phillips, vice president for legislative and public affairs for the AHI, told JAVMA he thinks the actual change in use was smaller, and revisions to manufacturers' figures from previous years account for part of that rise.

Phillips also said it is likely some producers increased use of ionophores in response to dramatic increases in feed costs.

“If you're feeding grain to animals, that's your biggest input cost,” Phillips said. “You're looking for any small way to increase efficiency in use.”

42 states testing for contagious equine metritis

Forty-two states were tracing and testing horses that may have been exposed to contagious equine metritis as of mid-January. So far, 383 horses had been exposed, according to the Department of Agriculture.

This highly contagious disease can be transmitted during breeding or artificial insemination and can cause temporary infertility of horses. The disease, not known to affect humans, was last detected in the United States nearly 30 years ago.

The outbreak began in mid-December 2008 when CEM infection was detected in a Quarter Horse stallion in Kentucky during routine testing of an international semen shipment. The USDA and Kentucky animal health authorities quickly started an epidemiologic investigation, leading to the testing of more horses. They found eight more infected stallions: three in Kentucky, three in Indiana, one in Wisconsin, and one in Texas. The Indiana and Texas stallions spent part of the 2008 breeding season on the Kentucky location where the initial CEM case was detected.

In addition to the nine stallions, the USDA says locations of 374 exposed horses have been confirmed as of Jan. 23. Those 383 horses comprise 51 stallions and 332 mares located in 39 states. The 51 test-positive or exposed stallions are located in 12 of those states, and the 291 exposed mares are in 39 states. There are 97 additional exposed mares and one stallion still actively being traced.

All located horses are under quarantine or hold order. Testing and, when appropriate, treatment protocols were being put into action for them as well by state animal health authorities.

Dr. Linda Mittel of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center said strict hygiene should be followed whenever handling breeding mares or stallions to prevent reproductive infectious diseases, including CEM. Dr. Mittel said the following recommendations can assist in preventing the spread of reproductive infectious diseases.

  • • Wear disposable examination gloves when working with the genitalia of breeding mares, foaling mares, tease stallions, or breeding stallions.

  • • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wash hands with soap and water between each examination if disposable gloves are not available.

  • • Use disposable supplies whenever possible and discard between each examination. This includes examination gloves, rectal gloves, vaginal speculums, tails wraps, practical cotton for washing, and artificial insemination supplies.

  • • Disinfect or sterilize (with steam or gas) nondisposable equipment between examinations such as Bivona tubes, uterine lavage systems, embryo transfer collections units, and surgical instruments.

  • • Cover ultrasound probes with an equine rectal sleeve. Any equipment that cannot be washed or auto-claved/sterilized should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with an antiseptic or alcohol.

  • • Line any buckets used for washing or cleaning the genitalia of mares or stallions with disposable plastic garbage bags. Change between examinations and discard used liners in appropriate garbage containers.

  • • Wear gloves for postfoaling examinations of mares, placenta, and aborted fetuses.

  • • Keep placentas and aborted fetuses from other horses, domestic animals, and wildlife.

CEM cases or suspect cases should be reported to the USDA or state animal health officials at www.usaha.org/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf.

For more information regarding CEM, visit www.aphis.usda.gov and click on the contagious equine metritis item under “Hot Issues.”

Equine veterinarians hope to improve racing standards

Better drug testing laboratory funding, standards sought

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Eight Belles takes a lap during a morning workout in the days leading up to the 2008 Kentucky Derby. (Courtesy of AAEP)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

The state of horse racing is in flux, and no one knows this better than industry insiders.

At the American Association of Equine Practitioners' 54th Annual Convention this past December, a special nine-member panel of racing and performance horse officials convened for a moderated discussion titled “Medication: Past, Present, and Future in Racing and Performance Horses.” The intent was to discuss current medication, testing, and penalty issues in racing and performance horse events, including past practices that have contributed to some current issues, as well as discuss where the equine industry appears to be heading.

State of the industry

Horse racing had a tough year in light of high-profile, sometimes tragic incidents, including the use of steroids with Big Brown and the onsite euthanasia of Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby.

“The industry response was a series of mixed messages,” said Craig Dado, vice president of marketing for Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

In return, Dado said, the events have engendered unprecedented negativity in the racing industry. Dado, who spoke on behalf of Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, frequently referenced a consumer research study conducted in 2008 by the association.

Dado said sports fans, core racing fans, and racing industry participants view the sport as in decline and losing integrity by the day. “The more you know the sport, the less you believe it to be one that is of integrity,” he said.

Core fans particularly abhor performance-enhancing drugs, the study indicated, which came from interviews of approximately 1,800 industry stakeholders. When asked to rate a variety of issues, fans said they were sick of a lackadaisical attitude toward the presence of drugs. In fact, nearly half, or 42 percent, of core fans believe performance-enhancing drugs are an important issue and rated it 10 on of a scale of 10. Fifty-two percent of industry stakeholders rated it the same way, as did 23 percent of sports fans.

“We can't talk our way out of this problem,” Dado said. “We have to implement real, decisive, transparent, meaningful, swift change to regain credibility.”

Dado emphasized the need for the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance to react to this public relations situation the way the makers of Tylenol responded prudently to the product-tampering case years ago, as opposed to the boxing industry, which Dado said “ignored warning signs over integrity.”

He advocated for taking action, or else “a significant portion of our 7.1 million core fans will abandon the sport.”

Perception versus reality

Not everyone shared Dado's dour perspective on the industry. Dr. Robert Lewis, program moderator and former AAEP president, said “I don't think (steroids are) as ubiquitous as some people think. The public doesn't differentiate between therapeutic and anabolic steroids. That's a huge educational challenge to enlighten them on the difference between the two.”

Dr. Rick Arthur, equine medical director of the California Horse Racing Board, agreed.

“It is the opinion of the industry as business people that medication, the entire aspect of it, has to change,” Dr. Arthur said. “Therapeutic and performance-enhancing drugs are not differentiated by the public. It doesn't make sense to us, but perception is reality.”

Continuing on the topic of fans, Dr. Arthur said they are the ones who pay to see racing, and if the industry is not successful, “they won't pay and we won't be successful … The handle drives our business.”

He also touched on the fact that 18 drug testing laboratories have their own protocols and methods. “Frankly, uniformity in rules is useless if you don't have uniform labs,” Dr. Arthur said.

Most laboratories are funded by state governments and are one of the first things to get cut from the budget, he continued. As a result, variability in withdrawal times continues to exist among laboratories.

“We have to figure out a way to fund (drug testing) at a higher level,” Dr. Arthur said.

Looking to the future

Dr. Scot Waterman, veterinarian and executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, says the consortium is looking to address the issue by tackling a three- to four-year research project that aims to determine uniform withdrawal times with a corresponding concentration of the relevant drug. The consortium also hopes to identify drugs with legitimate uses and prioritize drugs into five groups for more clarity in what should be permitted. This would be accomplished by reviewing previous science on each drug, or, if the science is insufficient, then performing administrations on a minimum of 20 horses, he said.

Dr. Waterman mentioned drugs such as acepromazine, butorphanol, detomidine, glycopyrrolate, mepivacaine, methocarbamol, pyrilamine, and lidocaine would likely be included in the first priority group to be addressed.

“These accounted for 65 to 70 percent of positives in the United States. They have caused the most trouble,” Dr. Waterman said.

First, though, the consortium continues to work on a searchable database of withdrawal times for therapeutic medications used in racehorses. Located at www.rmtcnet.com under “Withdrawal times,” information is posted for 18 jurisdictions and more than 70 drugs so far.

In addition, the RMTC has started to develop strategies to improve drug testing in the United States. This is imperative, Dr. Waterman said, particularly because no one knows the “right” number of drug testing laboratories that should exist. Some of the ideas are to integrate World Anti-Doping Agency standards, overhaul Laboratory Quality Assurance Programs, train the next generation of laboratory directors by developing a postdoctoral recruitment program, and develop a business plan for U.S. drug testing infrastructure.

For any of these initiatives to work, participating organizations must voluntarily comply. Dr. Waterman said the RMTC is beginning to see organizations use their leverage to promote change by using “sticks,” or punitive measures. By that, he gave the example of entities such as the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's American Graded Stakes Committee, and the Breeder's Cup, which have mandated anabolic steroids be prohibited.

That has happened in part as a result of the consortium developing model policies on prohibited practices, drug classifications, permitted therapeutics, uniform penalties for illegal and prohibited performance-enhancing drugs, and rules for the regulation of anabolic steroids. Most of the 38 racing jurisdictions have made these policies law or rule or anticipate doing so.

Stand and deliver

Dr. Rick Mitchell, Newton, Conn., spoke on the role of veterinarians in the performance horse industry. He said it is up to them as practitioners to guide their clientele in the proper use of medications for reasons such as drug interactions and adverse effects.

“I think it is a real concern in the performance horse world, where you have to take a stand on the side of the horse and be cautious in the use of ‘helpful medications.’ We need to research what they really do. The use of multiple medications in horses, it's indefensible to them (fans),” Dr. Mitchell said.

He mentioned the Federation Equestre Internationale's Medicine Box as a resource for performance and racehorse veterinarians to use. It lists scientifically based drug detection times.

Dr. Mitchell responded bluntly when asked whether he or other racehorse veterinarians sense pressure to do things they believe are not in the horse's best interest.

“I feel there's a lot of pressure, because of economic concerns and a desire to win, for the veterinarian to act as a gatekeeper for the welfare of the horse,” Dr. Mitchell said.

–MALINDA OSBORNE

Texas A&M's new dean starts March 1

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Dr. Eleanor M. Green

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

Dr. Eleanor M. Green of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine has been named dean of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, effective March 1. She succeeds Dr. H. Richard Adams, who returns to the faculty of the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology.

Since 1996, Dr. Green has served as Florida's professor and chair of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. She also is chief of staff for the college's Large Animal Hospital.

In a university news release, Texas A&M's provost and executive vice president for academics, Jeffrey S. Vitter, cited Dr. Green's international reputation in large animal clinical sciences and her role as the chief of staff for the veterinary teaching hospital at the University of Florida as key reasons for her selection. He also mentioned her being involved in developing the college's academic master plan and setting goals.

Prior to working at the University of Florida, Dr. Green was professor and head of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and director of the Large Animal Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of Tennessee. She also has served on the faculties of the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine and the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Green also was a partnership owner in a private veterinary practice.

Dr. Green earned her DVM degree from Auburn University in 1973. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Specialty of Internal Medicine, and a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Donation benefits WSU students through scholarship fund

A change in plans by a local humane society resulted in the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine receiving a sizable end-of-the-year gift.

The Moses Lake Grant County Humane Society donated $193,000 from proceeds of a land sale in early December to establish the Ethel Roberge Scholarship for veterinary students at WSU. Annual distributions will be used to award one or more scholarships. Preference will be given to veterinary students from Grant County, or if none exist, then eastern Washington.

The college's scholarship committee will determine who is awarded the $7,720 yearly scholarship; the first will be a partial scholarship to be awarded in April. In the past year, 270 WSU veterinary students received a scholarship.

The humane society, incorporated in 1976, cared for animals on an interim basis, using makeshift facilities for several years. In 1982, the group built an animal shelter, which it operated until 2007 when it handed over the facility to the Grant County Animal Outreach.

Roberge was dedicated to the humane care of animals. She died in 2002 and bequeathed part of her estate to the Moses Lake Grant County Humane Society. The money was used to buy real property that the society intended to use to build a new animal shelter. The group's plans changed, and the property was sold at a $193,000 profit.

A humane society board member first suggested the idea and others agreed because of its potential to live on in perpetuity and that the college's mission and goals fit with theirs, said Andrea Farmer, assistant director of development for the WSU Foundation, which oversees the new fund.

accolade

Government

Dr. Renate Reimschuessel (UP '81) was selected as one of 29 finalists for the Service to America Medal. She was a contender for one of the eight medals that were awarded this past September. Dr. Reimschuessel was considered for her work to uncover properties of melamine and related chemicals in pet food. Through her efforts, the Food and Drug Administration determined how these chemicals were responsible for kidney damage in dogs and cats. Dr. Reimschuessel is a research biologist at the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine's Office of Research.

assemblies

Joint Pathology Meetings

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Dr. Mary Anna Thrall

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

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Dr. John Cullen

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

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Dr. Donald Meuten

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

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Dr. Melinda Wilkerson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234, 4; 10.2460/javma.234.4.432

Event: American College of Veterinary Pathologists, American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, joint annual meetings, Nov. 15–19, 2008, San Antonio

Program: The ACVP program included premeeting symposia, a joint plenary session, specialty group sessions, and an emerging disease focus seminar. The ASVCP held a premeeting workshop, an education symposium, a teaching forum, slide and chemistry case reviews, and clinical pathology scientific sessions.

American College of Veterinary Pathologists

Awards: Young Investigator Award, category of diagnostic pathology, First place: D. Russell, Cornell University, for “Immunohistochemical detection of vitamin D receptor in canine mast cell tumors”; Second place: M. Ilha, University of Tennessee, for “Reproductive pathology of 32 female Vietnamese potbellied pigs”; Third place: G. Shaw, Johns Hopkins University, for “Chitinolytic mycotic shell disease and branchitis in captive American horseshoe crabs.” Category of toxicologic pathology, First place: K. Maratea, Purdue University, for “Short-term interference with TGF-Beta signaling causes delayed development of heart valve disease in Sprague-Dawley rats”; Second place: A. Brice, Johns Hopkins University, for “Minocycline arrests CD4+ T cells in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle and increases the activation threshold”; Third place: T.Y Lin, The Ohio State University, for “OSUHDAC-42, a novel HDAC inhibitor, exhibits biologic activity against human and canine malignant mast cells through both histone dependent and HSP90 dependent pathways.” Category of natural disease, First place: C. Himsworth, University of Saskatchewan, for “Destructive polyarthritis in aborted bovine-fetuses: A possible association with Ureaplasma diversum infection?”; Second place: T. Southard, Johns Hopkins University, for “Spontaneous cutaneous and subcutaneous tumors in aged male Long-Evans rats”; Third place: J. Hughes Hanks, University of Missouri, for “Hepatitis and enteritis caused by a novel herpes virus in two monitor lizards (Varanus SPP).” Category of experimental disease, First place: C. Martin, The Ohio State University, for “Effect of zoledronic acid therapy in an in vivo model of bone invasive feline oral squamous cell carcinoma”; Second place: J. Reis Jr., University of Georgia, for “Detection of vesicular stomatitis New Jersey virus in experimentally infected cattle using situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry”; Third place: J. McCleese, The Ohio State University, for “A novel Hsp90 inhibitor, STA-12-1474, exhibits biologic activity against osteosarcoma.” Christopher T. Starost Memorial Oncology Scholarship, First place: A. Sargeant, The Ohio State University, for “Chemopreventive effects of OSU-A9, a potent indole-3-carbinol-derived agent, in prostate cancer”; Second place: T.Y Lin, The Ohio State University, for “OSUHDAC-42, a novel HDAC inhibitor, exhibits biologic activity against human and canine malignant mast cells through both histone dependent and HSP90 dependent pathways.” Student Poster AwardsExperimental disease: C. Willson, North Carolina State University, for “Protein expression changes during bladder tumor development induced by o-nitroanisole in F344 rats”; Clinical pathology: R. Traslavina, Cornell University, for “Effects of pre-analytical handling on serum potassium levels of healthy laboratory mice.” Society of Toxicologic Pathology Student Speaker Award: A. Brice, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for “Minocycline arrests CD4+ T cells in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle and increases the activation threshold.” ACVP/AAVLD Diagnostic Travel Award: R. Johnson, Purdue University, for “Hypertrophic osteopathy associated with an intra-abdominal neoplasm in a cat.” Harold W. Casey Memorial Scholarship: Dr. Gillian Beamer, The Ohio State University. Distinguished and honorary members: The ACVP elected Dr. Paul Hildebrandt, Frederick, Md., as a distinguished member and Dr. Chris Gardiner, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as an honorary member. Drs. Matthew Wallig, Urbana, Ill., and Daniel Morton, Groton, Conn., received presidential awards for meritorious service to the college.

New diplomates: The ACVP recognized 76 new diplomates on successful completion of the certifying examination in Ames, Iowa, Sept. 23–25, 2008. Certified as veterinary anatomic pathologists were Drs. Muthafar Al-Haddawi, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Esther Arifin, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Neel Ibn-Anwar Aziz, Laurel, Md.; Dinesh S. Bangari, West Lafayette, Ind.; Gillian L. Beamer, Columbus, Ohio; Jaromir Benak, Leeds, United Kingdom; Ingrid L. Bergin, Ypsilanti, Mich.; Anthony S. Besier, Roleystone, Australia; Luke Borst, Savoy, Ill.; Sebastian J. Brennan, Morris Plains, N.J., Matthew A. Buccellato, Columbus, Ohio; Jennifer A. Cann, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Erica E. Carroll, Silver Spring, Md.; Thomas E. Cecere, Blacksburg, Va.; Taylor B. Chance, Washington, D.C.; Lily I. Cheng, Darnestown, Md.; Amy C. Durham, Philadelphia; Carissa K. Embury-Hyatt, Richer, Manitoba, Canada; David G. Tapia, Ames, Iowa; Gabriel Gomez, Bryan, Texas; Olga D. González, Madison, Wis.; Jessica S. Hoane, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Renee R. Hukkanen; Seattle; Kyathanahalli Janardhan, Manhattan, Kan.; Yava L. Jones, Gaithersburg, Md.; Rebecca A. Kagan, Willowbrook, Ill.; Cameron G. Knight, Palmerstown North, New Zealand; Leah A. Kuhnt, Auburn, Ala.; Brandon N.M. Lillie, Milton, Ontario, Canada; David X. Liu, Mandeville, La.; Alan T. Loynachan, Ames, Iowa; Jennifer Luff, Davis, Calif.; Douglas E. Lyman, Spencer, Wis.; Shannon Martinson, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada; William A. Meier, Sun Prairie, Wis.; Andrew D. Miller, Natick, Mass.; Ikki Mitsui, West Lafayette, Ind.; Rebecca R. Moore, Durham, N.C.; Pamela Mouser, LaFayette, Ind.; Sureshkumar Muthupalani, Norwood, Mass.; Murali V.P. Nadella, Madison, Wis.; Geoff Orbell, Pullman, Wash.; Kiran Palyada, Ithaca, N.Y.; Marcia E. Pereira, Somerset, N.J.; Joëlle Pinard, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada; Pandiri A.K. Reddy, Raleigh, N.C.; Aaron M. Sargeant, Dublin, Ohio; Denise J. Schwahn, Columbus, Ohio; Emma Scurrell, North Mymms, Herts, United Kingdom; Maureen C. Speltz, Stanchfield, Minn.; Michelle E. Thompson, Montgomery Village, Md.; Gaurav Tyagi, Urbana, Ill.; Arnaud J. Van Wettere, Raleigh, N.C.; Kapil Vashisht, Mattawan, Mich.; Joshua D. Webster, Lafayette, Ind.; and Moges W. Woldemariam, Tifton, Ga.

Certified as veterinary clinical pathologists were Drs. Mehrdad Ameri, Plattsburgh, N.Y.; Rannou Benoit, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada; Seth E. Chapman, Columbus, Ohio; Tanya M. Grondin, Glen Allen, Va.; Aristodimos Hatzis, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom; Natalie (Tasha) Kowalewich, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; Michal Neta, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Indira S. Pargass, Valsayn North, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies; Caroline Piché, Longueuil, Quebec, Canada; Felipe Reggeti, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Angela B. Royal, Columbia, Mo.; Laura A. Snyder, Pinehurst, N.C.; Jaime Tarigo, Cary, N.C.; Ashlee S. Urbasic, Champaign, Ill.; Julie L. Webb, Madison, Wis.; Angela L. Wilcox, Reno, Nev.; Matthew L. Williams, Smyrna, Ga.; Randolph J. Wilson, Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Shanon Zabolotzky, Sacramento, Calif. Dr. Kurt L. Zimmerman, Blacksburg, Va., received dual certification in veterinary anatomic and clinical pathology.

Officials: Drs. John Cullen, Raleigh, N.C., president; Donald Meuten, Raleigh, N.C., vice president/president-elect; Derek Mosier, Manhattan, Kan., secretary-treasurer; and Mary Anna Thrall, Fort Collins, Colo., immediate past president

American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology

Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Mary Anna Thrall, Fort Collins, Colo. A 1970 graduate of Purdue University, Dr. Thrall is a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. She also serves as a visiting professor at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Thrall is a diplomate and past president of the ACVP whose research interests include lysosomal storage diseases and ethylene glycol toxicosis. Young Investigator Award: H. Priest, Cornell University, for “Transferrin receptor expression in canine non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.” Research Grant Award: Dr. Erica Behling-Kelly, University of Wisconsin-Madison, was the first recipient of this award. She received $2,000 for “Macrophages derived from sites of granulomatous inflammation and histiocytic tumors in dogs: identification of cellular junctions.” Travel grants in the amount of $500 were presented to the following trainees: Drs. Tricia Bisby, Purdue University; Liesl Breickner, University of Tennessee; Janet A. Cruz-Cardona, University of Florida; Keith DeJong, University of California-Davis; and Heather Priest, Cornell University.

Officials: Drs. Melinda Wilkerson, Manhattan, Kan., president; Joanne Messick, West Lafayette, Ind., president-elect; Karen Russell, College Station, Texas, secretary; Dori Borjesson, Davis, Calif., treasurer; and Holly Jordan, Research Triangle Park, N.C., immediate past president

obituaries: AVMA Honor Roll Member AVMA Member Nonmember

Kenneth C. Bleichner

Dr. Bleichner (TEX '71), 68, Biloxi, Miss., died Oct. 23, 2008. Retired since 2001, he was the former owner of Biloxi Animal Hospital and Edgewater Veterinary Hospital in Biloxi. During retirement, Dr. Bleichner volunteered his services at the Humane Society of South Mississippi and Keesler Air Force Base. His wife, Lucy; three daughters; and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of South Mississippi, 2615 25th Ave., Gulfport, MS 39501; or American Heart Association, Living Legacy Partnership, P.O. Box 409410, Atlanta, GA 30384.

Charles W. Colquitt

Dr. Colquitt (AUB '52), 84, Barnwell, S.C., died July 5, 2008. He founded Barnwell Animal Clinic in 1958, practicing there until retirement in 2005. Dr. Colquitt also served as veterinarian for several livestock markets in South Carolina. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the veterinary faculty at Auburn University. Dr. Colquitt served in the Navy during World War II. His wife, Mildred; a son; and two stepdaughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Hilda First Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 59, Hilda, SC 29813.

Erik M. Daly

Dr. Daly (FL '00), 32, Portsmouth, Rhode Island, died Dec. 5, 2008. He practiced at Riverside Animal Hospital in East Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Daly is survived by his wife, Kathy, and three daughters. Memorials may be made to the Dr. Erik M. Daly FIV Research Fund, Attn: Katherine Desmond, University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, 2015 S.W. 16th Ave., P.O. Box 100125, Gainesville, FL 32618.

Harlen J. Engelbrecht

Dr. Engelbrecht (ISU '44), 88, Dyersville, Iowa, died Sept. 14, 2008. From 1948 until retirement in 1985, he worked in Fort Dodge, Iowa, for Fort Dodge Laboratories, where he helped develop group E Streptococcus vaccine for jowl abscesses in swine. Earlier in his career, Dr. Engelbrecht practiced in Lake Park, Iowa. His wife, Joy, and three sons survive him.

Brian J. Hablinski

Dr. Hablinski (TEX '94), 39, Willis, Texas, died Oct. 15, 2008. He practiced at Willis Animal Hospital and Willis Animal Clinic, and in Conroe, Texas, at Triangle Animal Clinic and Animal Emergency Clinic of Montgomery County. Earlier in his career, Dr. Hablinski worked at Forest West Animal Clinic in Houston. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl, and two sons. Memorials may be made to the Building Fund, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Conroe, TX 77301.

James A. Henderson

Dr. Henderson (ONT '36), 96, Sooke, British Columbia, Canada, died Dec. 14, 2008. From 1963 until retirement in 1973, he served as dean of Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Henderson began his career in Flemington, N.J., where he was in charge of the first co-operative artificial insemination association in the United States. In 1939, he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an associate professor in the Department of Animal Pathology.

In 1942, Dr. Henderson traveled to England, where he assisted in an advisory capacity with the Cambridge University School of Agriculture's AI program and in planning and administering the AI program of the Milk Marketing Board in Surrey. In 1946, Dr. Henderson joined the faculty of Ontario Veterinary College. From 1950–1963, he served as head of the Department of Medicine and Surgery.

A past president of the Canadian VMA, Dr. Henderson was an AVMA board member from 1957–1963 for the district that used to represent the provinces of Canada. He co-authored “Veterinary Medicine,” a textbook on diseases of large animals. Dr. Henderson was a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force. His wife, Valerie, and two sons survive him.

Thompson P. Hoffmeyer

Dr. Hoffmeyer (AUB '44), 85, Florence, S.C., died Nov. 4, 2008. Prior to retirement in 1991, he owned Hoffmeyer Animal Hospital in Florence. Dr. Hoffmeyer was a member of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians. He was also a 50-year member of the Florence Rotary Club and a recipient of its Paul Harris Award. Dr. Hoffmeyer is survived by his wife, Margaret; two daughters; and two sons. Memorials may be made to Pisgah United Methodist Church, 621 N. Ebenezer Road, Florence, SC 29501; The Manna House, 450 Jarrott St., Florence, SC 29501; or Florence Area Humane Society, P.O. Box 527, Florence, SC 29503.

William E. Iman Jr.

Dr. Iman (OSU '73), 68, Oregon, Ohio, died Nov. 4, 2008. Before retiring in 2006, he worked for the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service in West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio. Earlier in his career, Dr. Iman owned Iman Veterinary Hospital in Oregon. He was past president of the Toledo VMA, past treasurer of the Ohio VMA, and a member of the West Virginia VMA. Dr. Iman served on the board of trustees of the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust from 1994–2002. He received a Meritorious Service Award in 1996 and a Distinguished Service Award in 1998 from the OVMA.

Dr. Iman's wife, Ella Mae; a son; and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 15120, Chicago, IL 60693; or Omega Tau Sigma Scholarship Fund, OSU Foundation Fund #308457, Attn: Katie Kostyo, 127 VMAB, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210.

William Kaplan

Dr. Kaplan (COR '46), 86, Fresno, Calif., died July 30, 2008. Prior to retirement, he was a medical mycologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and the American Board of Medical Microbiology, Dr. Kaplan was known for his expertise on fungal histopathology and the diagnosis of dermatophyte infections, protothecosis, and multiple systemic mycotic infections. During his career, he also served as an associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and was an associate professor of microbiology at Georgia State University.

Dr. Kaplan was a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, International Society of Human and Animal Mycoses, and Medical Mycological Society of the Americas. In 1974, he was one of two recipients of the Kimble Methodology Research Award, given by the Conference of Public Health Laboratory Directors. Dr. Kaplan received the ISHAM Lucille Georg Award in 1988.

Donna M. Keirn

Dr. Keirn (WSU '83), 51, Seattle, died July 23, 2008.

U.S. Grant Kuhn

Dr. Kuhn (WSU '44), 86, Lacey, Wash., died Dec. 4, 2008. He retired in 1974 as a naval captain with the United States Public Health Service, following 29 years of commissioned service in the Air Force and the USPHS. During that time, Dr. Kuhn conducted research in nuclear radiation, tuberculosis, and venereal disease, and was chief of treponemal research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Early in his career, he owned a practice in Bothel, Wash., and served in the Army Veterinary Corps.

In retirement, Dr. Kuhn was chief of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Emory University's Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta. A member of the Georgia VMA, he served as chair of its Public Health Committee in 1974. Dr. Kuhn's wife, Phyllis; two sons; a daughter; two stepsons; and a stepdaughter survive him. His son and daughter-in-law, Drs. Thomas B. Kuhn (GA '77) and Margaret A. Kuhn (GA '78), are veterinarians in Asheville, N.C

Cecil W. Lange

Dr. Lange (ISU '62), 82, Pekin, Ill., died Nov. 12, 2008. Retired since 1991, he founded Lange Animal Clinic in Pekin in 1968. Dr. Lange began his career in Fort Madison, Iowa, practicing there from 1962–1965. He then worked at Pekin Animal Hospital. Dr. Lange was a member of the Illinois State and Mississippi Valley VMAs. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; two sons; and a daughter. Memorials may be made to First United Presbyterian Church, 1717 Highwood Ave., Pekin, IL 61554; or Pekin Union Mission Center, 203 Court St., Pekin, IL 61554.

Frederick S. Martin

Dr. Martin (PUR '71), 61, Covington, Ind., died July 21, 2008. He owned Martin Veterinary Clinic in Covington since 1971. Dr. Martin also served as the environmental health specialist at the Fountain-Warren County Health Department. His wife, Dotty, and three children survive him. Memorials may be made to the Covington Community Foundation, 135 S. Stringtown Road, P.O. Box 175, Covington, IN 47932; or Shriners Hospitals for Children, Office of Development, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607.

Laurnie W. Nelson

Dr. Nelson (ISU '57), 75, Mount Vernon, Ind., died Nov. 9, 2008. Prior to retirement in 1988, he worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Nelson began his career practicing in Missouri at Lancaster and Saint Joseph. He then worked in meat inspection for the Department of Agriculture. After earning degrees in veterinary pathology, Dr. Nelson joined the radiologic division at the United States Public Health Service. He then worked for Hazelton Laboratories in Virginia. Dr. Nelson joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1968 and remained there until 1977. He then practiced at Nelson Pathology Services prior to rejoining Bristol-Myers in 1982.

Dr. Nelson's wife, Margaret; a daughter; and five sons survive him. Memorials may be made to VNA Charlier Hospice, P.O. Box 3487, Evansville, IN 47734; or First United Methodist Church, 601 Main St. #A, Mount Vernon, IN 47620.

Benjamin R. Page Jr.

Dr. Page (GA '52), 83, Young Harris, Ga., died Oct. 26, 2008. Prior to retirement, he owned Page Animal Hospital in Savannah, Ga. Dr. Page was a past president of the Georgia VMA. A veteran of World War II, he served in the Army. Dr. Page is survived by his wife, Patricia; two daughters; a son; and two stepdaughters.

Barrie D. Watson

Dr. Watson (ISU '54), 82, Mentone, Ala., died Oct. 11, 2008. Prior to retirement, he served as veterinarian for the Bahamas Humane Society. Earlier in his career, Dr. Watson owned a mixed animal practice in Spencer, Iowa; served in Tanzania as part of a government-sponsored aid project; and worked in veterinary inspection for the government of Bermuda. An Army veteran, he served as a paratrooper during World War II. Dr. Watson's son survives him.

James L. Welch

Dr. Welch (ISU '41), 90, Clinton, Wis., died July 25, 2008. He founded Clinton Veterinary Clinic in 1946, practicing there until retirement in 1977. Following graduation, Dr. Welch worked for East Central Breeders in Waupun, Wis. He then served in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of captain. A past president of the Wisconsin VMA, Dr. Welch received its Meritorious Service Award in 1978. Active in civic life, he served on the Clinton village, school, and district fire association boards and was a charter member of the Clinton Kiwanis Club.

Dr. Welch is survived by his wife, Ruth; two sons; and a daughter. Memorials may be made to the Clinton High School Scholarship, 112 Milwaukee Road, P.O. Box 566, Clinton, WI 53525; or Heifer Project International, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202.

John M. Woodcock

Dr. Woodcock (ONT '38), 93, Pittsfield, Maine, died July 4, 2008. Prior to retirement in the 1980s, he served as Maine state veterinarian. Early in his career, Dr. Woodcock worked in Rhode Island and New Jersey, including service with the Department of Agriculture. In the 1950s and '60s, he owned a small animal practice in Pittsfield, also serving dairy farmers in the area. Dr. Woodcock is survived by two daughters.

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