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Collaborators include universities, companies, not-for-profit organizations, and federal government

A multiyear study involving tens of thousands of egg-laying hens could improve understanding of the impacts and sustainability of housing systems for egg-laying hens.

Michigan State University and the University of California-Davis are leading the study, and officials with McDonald's and Cargill said their companies will serve as contributors and advisers.

Jeffrey D. Armstrong, PhD, dean of the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, told the AVMA news staff that the study is needed because of the many unanswered questions regarding optimal methods for housing egg-laying hens.

Important considerations when selecting or modifying a housing system, Dr. Armstrong said, are that changing one aspect of production typically results in multiple additional changes, and that hen housing has diverse impacts beyond the welfare of the hens—including impacts on food safety, human health, and the cost of food.

“All of these different factors come into play, and there are very few, if any, studies to look at production like this, in a holistic manner,” Dr. Armstrong said.

The AVMA will participate in the study in an advisory role, according to Dr. Gail C. Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division. The AVMA has previously provided comments on proposals and grant requests connected with the project, she said.

Other advisers are the American Humane Association, the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, and the not-for-profit Center for Food Integrity.

Tim Amlaw, director of farm animal programs for the AHA, said his organization has made footage from daily video monitoring taken during a separate ongoing study on behavior of hens available for the project. That parallel study is being sponsored by the AHA and conducted by researchers from the University of Maryland and Mississippi State University.

The AHA will also allow access to audit data related to humane care from observation and certification programs and will provide any guidance needed on animal welfare during the Michigan State and UC-Davis project, Amlaw said.

It is important to examine humane care practices in food production and deficiencies in those practices, Amlaw said.

“What we're trying to avoid is precipitous change that doesn't result in improved animal welfare,” Amlaw said. “So what we want to do is make sure the change is science-based, it observes all aspects of the animal environment, and it looks toward a production system that is fluid and robust for systems of agriculture as we know it.”

Dr. Golab said the AVMA's Animal Welfare Division has advocated for research that takes a comprehensive approach toward studying animal welfare, and the design of this project will likely have applicability to animal welfare questions in other species. With respect to laying hens, she said the project should provide insight into the impacts of housing choices not only on the welfare of the birds, but also on the environ ment, food safety, biosecurity, and supply chain economics.

As for what producers should consider in adopting a hen housing system, Dr. Golab said, “It needs to be animal welfare-friendly across multiple parameters, it has to result in a product that's safe for human consumption, it has to be environmentally responsible, it needs to be viable for adoption by producers, and it must be acceptable to consumers.”

Sandy Miller Hays, spokeswoman for USDA's Agricultural Research Service, said an ARS food technologist will serve as a consultant, and her agency will play a minor role in the research.

Terry Fleck, executive director of the Center for Food Integrity, said the study's approach is consistent with the balance sought by his organization of science, ethics, and economics. He expects the center will help facilitate meetings, ensure consistent internal and external communication, provide feedback based on research into consumer attitudes and priorities, and possibly recruit additional partners.

The study will complement ongoing research sponsored by the American Egg Board during which scientists have been identifying researchable questions in sustainable egg production, Dr. Armstrong said.

Officials with McDonald's said in a statement that the study will help the company decide on “sustainable egg purchases.”

“Globally, McDonald's supports cage and cage-free housing (systems) as long as they meet our animal welfare guiding principles,” Bob Langert, McDonald's vice president for corporate social responsibility, said in the May 21 press release.

Mark Klein, spokesman for Cargill, said his company sees the need for science-based research that could lead to improvements in egg production and avoid negative, unintended consequences. He said he could not provide details on the company's financial commitment to the project.

The McDonald's announcement immediately drew a critical response from the Humane Society of the United States, which is accusing the fast-food company of using the study to delay changes in purchasing. The HSUS argues there already is an abundance of evidence that battery cage confinement is detrimental to animal welfare.

The Humane Society announced ahead of a McDonald's shareholder meeting May 27 that an HSUS representative would introduce a resolution to phase in use of eggs from cage-free hens at restaurants in the United States. The shareholders voted down the resolution.

Dr. Armstrong said there are advantages and disadvantages to housing systems with and without cages, and some of those are unclear to the public or are emotionally driven.

Dr. Armstrong takes issue both with producers who say their birds' productivity indicates good animal welfare practices, and with groups who pick out segments of scientific research and say the chickens' welfare needs are not being met. He did not, however, identify any specific individuals or groups that have expressed such opinions.

“You've got to look at the bigger picture on both ends of the perspective,” Dr. Armstrong said. “A holistic approach that involves collaboration is better than one involving single-slice participants who don't want anything to change or who want changes that are simply driven by emotions.

“Either end of the extremes is not based on science and should be avoided.”

A commentary written by a ninemember scientific advisory committee sponsored by but independent from the United Egg Producers has similarly advocated for development and adoption of science-based animal care guidelines and use of a holistic perspective in considering animal housing systems. The commentary by the committee, of which Drs. Armstrong and Golab are members, was published in an August 2008 edition of Feedstuffs.

“Furthermore, it is clear that additional research is necessary to evaluate the potential short- and long-term effects of different housing systems not only on hen health and welfare but on overall sustainability,” the commentary states. “Food safety, security and quality, vulnerability to food bioterrorism, the impact on human health, sustainable environmental practices, supply chain dynamics, and the economic impact for consumers must all be considered.”

The AVMA policy “AVMA Animal Welfare Principles” states that development and evaluation of animal welfare policies, resolutions, and actions requires a balance of “scientific knowledge and professional judgment with consideration of ethical and societal values.” It also states that procedures related to animal housing, management, care, and use require continuous evaluation.

“The veterinary profession shall continually strive to improve animal health and welfare through scientific research, education, collaboration, advocacy, and the development of legislation and regulations,” the policy states.


NAVTA leader hopes to uphold standards, partnerships

National credentialing, inclusion in practice acts are priorities

Cherylann Gieseke is president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. She has worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for nearly 20 years. Currently, she is coordinator for the clinic's institutional animal care and use committee.

Gieseke graduated from the University of Minnesota-Waseca with an associate degree in veterinary technology. She continued her education at the College of St. Benedict, earning a bachelor's degree in biology. Gieseke has been involved with the Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians and the AVMA Committee for Veterinary Technician Education and Activities, among other organizations.

Gieseke spoke about veterinary technician salaries, new specialties, and her hopes for NAVTA's future, including national testing standards and more state veterinary practice acts mentioning veterinary technicians.

How did you come to be a veterinary technician?

I've always been interested in animals and science. Originally, I had considered veterinary school, but after hearing about a veterinary technology program, I thought I would try that first. The theory was that when I got tired of being a veterinary technician, I'd go to veterinary school. I'm not tired. I still find it very fascinating and challenging and rewarding.

I work with research investigators (at Mayo Clinic) to facilitate their processes and help them determine the best way to handle the animals. I wear another hat with the Minnesota VMA, where I am working with others to get a defined role for veterinary technicians into the state's veterinary practice act.

What do you hope to accomplish as NAVTA president?

One of the things we've really been working on strongly this year has been reaching out to partners in the industry and building relationships. We see veterinary technicians as a vital part of the veterinary team. The relationships between veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and vendors are important. We're trying to solidify those relationships and come up with new ways to help each other in making the team better.

What are veterinary technicians' concerns right now?

One of the most prevalent frustrations among veterinary technicians is not being utilized to their fullest extent. Our training and education are extensive, and people who make it through are good, solid people who want to do what they're educated to do.

How can veterinarians make better use of veterinary technicians, then?

I'm hoping we can somehow start that process within the veterinary colleges. I'm not sure how much business training and team building (veterinary students) get in their curriculum. I want veterinarians to be able to see financial figures explaining the correlation of greater revenue with employing veterinary technicians. It should start in veterinary school. I know the (Association for American Veterinary Medical Colleges) is looking into it. It's vital that veterinary technicians are involved in that so we can have input for the best way of team building.

According to the 2007 NAVTA demographic survey, two-thirds of members say salary is their biggest career problem. How big of an issue is it?

It sort of depends on what aspect of the profession you're in. As a research veterinary technician, or within industry, typically salaries are at a much higher level than, say, a small animal practice veterinary technician.

It's gotten better, but if you want to retain good veterinary technicians, obviously paying them what they're worth is a good investment. With the time it takes to retrain someone … you can either pay more on the front end or keep doing it on the back end.

Talk about the veterinary technology program accreditation process and whether you think enough programs exist to meet demand.

I think the value of accreditation has become very well-known. The standard the AVMA has set is a gold standard. That's the bar people are shooting for. NAVTA fully believes the accreditation process (by the CVTEA) is the way to go, and we're thrilled that so many programs are putting veterinary technicians out there.

I'm not as concerned about an overall shortage of veterinary technicians as much as where the shortages are occurring. For example, there are 10 veterinary technology programs in Minnesota, and, still, there is a shortage of veterinary technicians in the state. That probably has to do more with pay scale and location, and I don't think metropolitan areas are as hard up as maybe the Iron Range in Minnesota.

How does adding specialties affect the veterinary technology profession?

That's an exciting area—the number of specialties we already have and the number of areas that we are considering. Dermatology has expressed its intent to petition to become a specialty, for example.

I would say it's another really good way to keep veterinary technicians in the field, because they can take advantage of the skills they have from their time on the job and specialize in something and make that a value-added skill.

What are future concerns and issues the veterinary technology profession likely will see?

One of the things the profession has questions about is the need for some sort of national-type standards. There's the Veterinary Technician National Examination, which is the accepted national test, but the issue is whether there needs to be a national credentialing process. … Right now it's up to each state. So let's say in Minnesota, I'm a CVT, but in California, I would be an RVT.

NAVTA is looking at a national credentialing and how to achieve it. We have other industry partners, technician educators, and the AVMA, including the CVTEA, interested. NAVTA is starting a task force to look into what it can do to achieve national credentialing or get it on the radar. It gets talked about a lot, and it's going to be a huge effort to work with it, but we want to take it on.

Any other concerns?

Another area with a lot of questions is assistants in the profession. Just as veterinary technicians in some states are not included in their veterinary practice acts, there are lots of places where there's no definition of veterinary assistants. We need to figure out who should be doing what and how to categorize it legally. If it's in the veterinary practice act already, I think that keeps things clean and defined, and everyone on the team knows their roles. If it's not in the veterinary practice act, then the list of acceptable roles is a big concern.

It's obvious that every member is valuable for what they can contribute. Having team members' roles defined so they can excel at what they do is the most efficient option for the profession.


Survey shows veterinary technicians grapple with new, old challenges

Results from a recent study of veterinary technicians reveals that the more the field of veterinary technology changes, the more it stays the same.

The 2007 demographic survey was commissioned by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America and was the association's fifth quadrennial survey since 1991. Results are published in The NAVTA Journal, and represent input from members and nonmembers alike.

For this survey, as for all of the previous surveys, veterinary technicians chose salary as the number one problem they face in their career. On the most recent questionnaire, two-thirds of NAVTA members and three-fourths of nonmembers ranked low income among the top three problems they face. Other concerns voiced by respondents included the lack of professional recognition, job burnout, the lack of career advancement opportunities, and competition with assistants trained on the job.

That's not to say the salary situation, or at least the perception of it, hasn't changed. For instance, when respondents were asked whether they thought “veterinary technicians are so underpaid that the feasibility of staying in the profession is declining,” the percentage of members who agreed or strongly agreed with the statement dropped from 87.7 percent in 2003 to 78.7 percent in 2007.

Comparing salary ranges for the 1991 and 2007 surveys mean salary of NAVTA member veterinary technicians has nearly doubled from $19,200 to $36,120, according to the survey. Nonmembers saw their compensation grow from $17,500, on average, in 1991 to $31,070 in 2007. However, NAVTA-member veterinary technicians in companion animal and mixed animal practice had the lowest mean salaries in the profession ($33,270 and $28,960, respectively), even though this is where most technicians are employed (52.2 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively). In recent years, veterinary technicians gradually have been moving away from clinical practice to other career opportunities. The data indicate that this trend is continuing.

The percentage of veterinary technicians receiving health insurance has increased substantially since 1991. That's when roughly two-thirds of respondents were provided this benefit by their employer. Now, 83 percent report they have it.

In general, NAVTA members who responded to the 2007 survey were more likely to receive benefits than were their non-member counterparts. For example, 85 percent of NAVTA members indicated in the 2007 survey they had health insurance, compared with 70 percent of nonmembers. Sixty-seven percent of NAVTA members received paid sick time, compared with only 55 percent of nonmembers.

Respondents were asked to predict what three issues would likely affect them five years from now. For both members and nonmembers, salary, specialization in veterinary technology, and medical and computer technology were the three issues most frequently listed.

The percentage of members who were happy with the recognition afforded them by professional veterinary organizations increased from 39 percent in 2003 to 43.1 percent in 2007.


By the numbers

Respondents to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, 2007 demographic survey:

  • 95 percent were women.

  • 38 was the mean age.

  • 77 percent had at least an associate degree.

  • 87.7 percent of NAVTA members were graduates of AVMA-accredited programs.

  • 69.2 percent of nonmembers were graduates of AVMA-accredited programs.

  • 11.5 was the mean number of years in the profession for members.

  • 6.8 was the mean number of years with their current employer for members.

  • 39 hours was the mean workweek.

  • 57 percent worked in communities of greater than 50,000 in population.

Six veterinary technology programs become accredited

The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities accredited six new veterinary technology programs at its April 24-26 meeting in Schaumburg, Ill.

The colleges include Piedmont Technical College, Newberry, S.C.; Brown Mackie College-Louisville, Ky.; Brown Mackie College-Michigan City, Mich.; Carver Career Center and the Community and Technical College at West Virginia University, Charleston; and Pima Medical Institute-Renton, Wash.

Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market also was accredited. It has veterinary technology programs at its member institutions of John A. Logan College, Carterville; Kaskaskia College, Centralia; Rend Lake College, Ina; Shawnee Community College, Ullin; Southeastern Illinois College, Harrisburg; Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

All six veterinary technology programs were given provisional accreditation status at the CVTEA meeting. Provisional accreditation is granted to new programs in veterinary technology when students have not completed the entire curriculum or the program has not produced sufficient numbers of graduates to adequately assess outcomes. Programs may remain on provisional accreditation for up to five years. Graduates of a provisionally accredited program are considered graduates of an AVMA-accredited program.

The CVTEA has accredited 160 programs in total. Eighteen of those offer a four-year degree, and nine offer distance-learning opportunities. Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, and Rhode Island are the only states, along with the District of Columbia, that do not have AVMA-accredited veterinary technology programs.

More than 1,500 service dogs receive free eye examinations


Dr. Cory B. Mosunic of Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center, Bedford Hills, N.Y., examines Pele during the National Service Dog Eye Exam Day event. (Courtesy of Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Robert L. Peiffer Jr. of the Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services, Langhorne, Pa., takes a look at Eagle while his owner watches. Courtesy of Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and Merial teamed up again this year to put on the National Service Dog Eye Exam Day during the first week of May. The event brought together more than 150 board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists across the United States and Canada to provide free sight-saving eye examinations to more than 1,500 dogs.

Active working dogs that were certified by a formal training program or organization or were currently enrolled in a formal training program participated in the program.

The AVMA Executive Board voted to endorse the event at its April meeting (see JAVMA, May 15, 2009, page 1232).

This was the second year for the program. Plans for next year are already under way, with next year's event likely to take place again during the first week of May. For more information, visit www.acvoeyeexam.org.

FDA providing MUMS grants to aid new drug studies

The federal government is providing up to $750,000 for developers of drugs for animals listed as minor species or for minor uses in major species.

The Food and Drug Administration announced May 27 the funding would be provided under the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2004. Applications for funding are due July 1.

The grants have to be used to defray costs of safety and effectiveness testing during development of new drugs. The FDA indicated the agency would provide up to $50,000 annually for up to two years for routine studies or up to $100,000 annually for up to two years for unusually complex studies.

The FDA indicated a third year of funding could be available for toxicology studies.

The AVMA has strongly supported the MUMS Act.

Information from the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine indicates the law is expected to provide benefits to owners of exotic pets, owners of animals with uncommon diseases or diseases confined to limited geographic areas, and zoo veterinarians, as well as to help pharmaceutical companies “overcome the financial roadblocks they face in providing limited-demand animal drugs.”

Under the 2004 law, sponsors of drugs marketed under MUMS need to provide annual reports indicating progress toward approval.

In March, a drug used as a spawning aid in ornamental finfish brood-stock became the first new animal drug added to the Index of Legally Marketed Unapproved New Animal Drugs for Minor Species. Before they can be marketed, minor species drugs must be approved, conditionally approved, or indexed.

Some metal-backed drug patches lack warning about MRI burn risk

Not all transdermal medication patches with a metallic backing provide a warning about the risk of burns during magnetic resonance imaging, according to an advisory from the Food and Drug Administration.

Human patients have reported receiving burns during an MRI when wearing medication patches with metallic backings. Patches containing metal components include some of those in use in veterinary medicine, such as some fentanyl and lidocaine patches.

“The risk of using a metallic patch during an MRI has been well-established, but the FDA recently discovered that not all manufacturers include a safety warning with their patches,” said Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The patches of concern include brand-name and generic products. The FDA is reviewing the labeling and composition of all medication patches to ensure that patches containing metal components provide a warning about the risk of burns during an MRI.

The FDA advisory is at www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PublicHealthAdvisories under “2009 Public Health Advisories.”

Nutro recalls dry cat food because of mineral imbalances

Nutro Products has announced a voluntary recall of certain varieties of dry cat food because of excessive zinc and inadequate potassium supplementation.

On May 21, the company recalled Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care Dry Cat Foods and Nutro Max Cat Dry Foods with “best if used by” dates between May 12, 2010, and Aug. 22, 2010. According to the company, the recall resulted from a production error by a U.S. supplier of mineral premixes. One mineral premix contained excessive zinc and inadequate potassium. A second premix contained inadequate potassium. Nutro identified the issue during an audit of the supplier's documentation.

Nutro had distributed dry cat food containing the premixes throughout the United States and to Canada, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand. Now the company is working with distributors and retailers to ensure the products are not on store shelves. Consumers who purchased one of the products can return it to their retailer for a full refund or exchange for another Nutro dry cat food.

At the time of the recall, Nutro had received no complaints relevant to the products. Nevertheless, the company advises cat owners to monitor cats that ate any of the products for signs of problems—such as a reduction in appetite, refusal of food, weight loss, vomiting, or diarrhea. Cat owners should contact their veterinarian if a cat is experiencing health problems or is pregnant. Consumers who have questions about the recall can visit www.nutroproducts.com or call (800) 833-5330 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time.

Online arthritis resource for pet owners

To educate pet owners about arthritis—and ways to prevent and treat it—the Morris Animal Foundation developed a Web site at www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org/arthritis with tips on early detection and treatment of arthritis in pets.

Videos on the site feature pet owners as well as interviews with veterinarians and an animal chiropractor. The site offers management tips, resources for helping pets at home, and links to the latest in MAF-sponsored research.

Veterinary researchers estimate that 20 percent of adult dogs have osteoarthritis and that 45 percent of cats experience arthritic pain, according to the foundation, which has supported approximately 15 studies on arthritis-related issues. Current research focuses on the efficacy of various complementary treatments for arthritis.

Feline health studies funded

Morris Animal Foundation announced in May that the organization's new Helping Shelters Help Cats program is funding three studies aimed at reducing stress in cats and increasing adoption rates.

Helping Shelters Help Cats is part of the foundation's Happy Healthy Cat Campaign, which is an effort to raise pet owner awareness of feline health issues and increase funding for health research and scientist training.

Study funding is made possible through an anonymous challenge gift through which the donor will match every dollar given to this program up to $500,000, for a potential total of $1 million.

Dr. Kate F. Hurley, director of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California-Davis, will receive MAF funds to study factors that increase the risk of outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infections in shelters and to develop practical, cost-effective recommendations to improve shelter cat health and comfort.

An international team from the United States, Canada, and Australia is spearheading the second study. The researchers will analyze shelter conditions that cause emotional stress, and plan to develop effective behavioral interventions to minimize the spread of upper respiratory tract infections in cats.

The third study will be conducted at The Ohio State University by a team of veterinary scientists trying to identify ways to increase cat safety and comfort by altering their surroundings. Researchers will use the results of their study to create a training program for reducing stress in shelter cats through cage and environmental enhancements.

Henderson joins Scientific Activities Division


Dr. Kristi Henderson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10

Dr. Kristi Henderson joined the AVMA staff in May as an assistant director in the Scientific Activities Division. She brings a range of government, private practice, and academic experience to the Association.

The 1996 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine previously worked as a veterinary medical officer with the Veterinary Services branch of the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and with the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

With APHIS, Dr. Henderson was responsible for studying the epidemiology of chronic wasting disease in Minnesota and was the CWD liaison to producers, hunters, tribal nations, research facilities, laboratories, and state and federal agencies. Dr. Henderson assisted in the writing and implementation of plans for managing CWD in farmed cervids. Her other primary tasks involved working on import and export issues as well as conducting federal accreditation sessions.

Later, she worked with the private and public sectors in New Mexico on domestic and foreign animal disease surveillance, control, and eradication, including emergency preparedness and response.

Dr. Henderson also served on APHIS task forces addressing exotic Newcastle disease, vesicular stomatitis, CWD, and tuberculosis.

During her time as an FSIS veterinary medical officer, Dr. Henderson was an acting circuit supervisor in the Chicago district and inspected slaughter facilities to ensure industry compliance, public health, and humane handling of livestock.

In addition to her career with the federal government, Dr. Henderson was a visiting teaching associate at the UI College of Veterinary Medicine in what is now known as the Farm Animal Reproduction Medicine section within the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and spent eight years in private practice treating food animals and companion animals.

“I feel privileged to serve the AVMA as an assistant director, a position to which I bring a strong agricultural background, diverse clinical and regulatory experiences, and an eager heart,” Dr. Henderson said. “This position affords me the opportunity to share my insights and learn from others as we constantly strive for advances within veterinary sciences and professions, public health, and animal agriculture.”

Many faces, one profession


Dr. David A. Jessup

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Peregrine L. Wolff

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Cindy P. Driscoll

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Robinette A. Gilbert

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Alfred O. Gigstad III

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Paul L. Garbe

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Bethany O'Brien

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Thomas R. Kendall

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Craig J. Rowles

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. Robert Poppenga

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10


Dr. R. Scott Larsen

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 1; 10.2460/javma.235.1.10

Committee on Environmental Issues

Charge/mission (summary): The committee addresses environmental issues that affect the health of wildlife and other animals, public health, and ecosystem health by helping develop AVMA policies; encouraging science-based, practical solutions; providing information to the membership; and influencing legislation, regulation, public policy, and research efforts.


Dr. David A. Jessup (WSU '76), chair, California Department of Fish and Game, Santa Cruz; representing veterinary ecology

Dr. Peregrine L. Wolff (COR '84), Nevada Department of Wildlife, Reno; representing small ruminant practice

Dr. Cindy P. Driscoll (VMR '87), Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Oxford; representing aquatic medicine

Dr. Robinette A. Gilbert (LSU '92), Eli Lilly and Company, Texarkana, Texas; representing avian medicine

Dr. Alfred O. Gigstad III (KSU '76), Arbor Valley Animal Clinic, Syracuse, Neb.; representing bovine practice

Dr. Paul L. Garbe (IL '77), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; representing the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Bethany O'Brien (UP '98), USDA-APHIS Western Region, Fort Collins, Colo.; representing government service—federal or state agency dealing with environmental issues

Dr. Thomas R. Kendall (PUR '69), Arden Animal Hospital, Sacramento, Calif.; representing small animal medicine

Dr. Craig J. Rowles (ISU '82), Elite Pork, Carroll, Iowa; representing swine practice

Dr. Robert Poppenga (IL '78), California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, Davis; representing veterinary toxicology

Dr. R. Scott Larsen (COL '95), Wildlife Health Center, University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; representing zoo and wildlife medicine

What current project are you most excited about?

Dr. A. David Scarfe, assistant director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division, said, “The committee currently has chosen three areas on which to focus—environmental health aspects of the one-health initiative, green practices in veterinary medicine, and waste generated from animals and veterinary practices.”

A recent meaningful accomplishment:

After being alerted to the Environmental Protection Agency's desire to survey the veterinary profession—and potentially develop regulations concerning the appropriate disposal of unused pharmaceuticals—the CEI began collaborating with other AVMA entities in developing a document that addresses best management practices for the disposal of unused pharmaceuticals. Dr. Scarfe said that preliminary feedback from the EPA suggests this document may alleviate its concerns that the veterinary profession is an important contributor to pharmaceuticals found in natural waters.

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

The committee is developing educational sessions on environmental issues for the AVMA Annual Convention and new Web-based information on veterinary internships and other educational programs. Those programs will lead to increased environmental involvement by veterinarians, according to Dr. Scarfe. In addition, the committee is providing input on new Web resources that will provide practical information on waste disposal compliance for AVMA members and veterinary clinics.

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

Dr. David A. Jessup, CEI chair, said that without the committee, the AVMA cannot meet its stated purpose to advance the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to public health, biological science, and agriculture.

“Environmental health and environmental issues are part and parcel to human public health. Environmental sciences—ecology, toxicology—are part and parcel to biological sciences,” Dr. Jessup said.

“A major challenge to modern agriculture is the energy required to sustain it, and the immediate gross and long-term environmental impacts of wastes, effluents, gasses, and nutrient redistribution. Public health, biological science, and agriculture—with which the AVMA aspires to have strong relationships—are all linked to, and have as key components, environmental issues.”

Environmental health is one of three legs of the stool in the one-health model, he noted, adding that the CEI is the one body within the Association with a full spectrum of expertise as well as the charge to help the AVMA deal with environmental challenges.

More than 400 positions exist on AVMA councils, committees, and task forces. For more information about serving on one of these entities, go to www.avma.org/about_avma/governance/volunteering, or contact officeevp@avma.org.

Disaster training sessions benefit from AVMF sponsorship

Six state organizations prepare for zoonotic outbreaks, veterinary shortage

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has announced the recipients of this year's disaster training session sponsorships. The AVMF received 11 applications, and the Foundation's board approved funding for six training sessions at $5,000 each. The benefitting organizations not only demonstrated an understanding of local needs but also sought to make an impact far beyond their regions.

Dr. Sarah K. Kirk is a member of the Foundation board's grants and awards subcommittee and helped review the submissions. She said the subcommittee was impressed with the merit of all the applicants, and that it was tough to narrow the selections to six.

One of the awardees, Washington State University, will host a pet poultry practice course. The program was recently created in response to the increasing interest by local urban residents in raising their own chickens. Not only does this pose a potential influenza interface with humans but also it presents area veterinarians—most of whom are small animal practitioners—with species they don't often encounter.

The course will introduce attendees to husbandry, handling, behavior, common diseases, conditions of pet poultry, and sampling techniques.

“Some applicants were a little different. The one with the poultry was very interesting to us,” Dr. Kirk said. “More and more communities have this issue of poultry. It's something for which— with this in particular—I know I had very little training in veterinary school.”

Another sponsorship recipient was Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. The money received will assist with operating costs for its graduate certificate program in veterinary homeland security through distance learning.

The success of the 3-year-old online program is founded on its ability to provide remotely accessible, quality training for veterinary and allied professionals. Sixty-seven percent of the 82 current participants are veterinarians from private practice, government agencies, industry, academia, and the military. Twelve courses are available online and seven are in development. The program has had 87 participants from 30 states, Washington, D.C., Singapore, and Bermuda (see JAVMA, March 1, 2009, page 591).

Dr. Kirk said the subcommittee was interested in applicants such as Purdue because of their potential to reach so many people.

“We were looking not only at topics that would be covered but also how great an audience would be impacted. We had a couple of the awards given to VMAs working together, which is a wonderful thing to see,” Dr. Kirk said.

As an example, the Minnesota VMA and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection were awarded $5,000 each to host the second Tri-State Veterinary Disaster Response Conference in LaCrosse, Wis., later this year or early next year.

The groups will hold a two-day training and organizational conference this fall or winter to talk about veterinary disaster response for large and small animals, and animal disease response. They met the first time this past April when emergency responders from Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin discussed animal issues during disasters and other emergencies (see JAVMA, June 15, 2009, page 1491). The intent of this latest training session is to build on the previous conference's work and to include additional surrounding states.

Also, the Hamilton County (Tennessee) Disaster Animal Response Team will receive funding for its first Tri-State Animal Emergency Response Conference. The tri-state area of south-east Tennessee, northwest Georgia, and northeast Alabama covers 15 counties that include the Tennessee River Valley and three interstates connecting the region.

“There are many rural counties located in the tri-state area that do not have the resources to adequately respond to disaster. This resource deficiency is not only a lack of the proper equipment for responders, but it also includes a shortage of well-trained animal emergency responders,” according to the team's application.

The purpose of the conference is to give animal emergency responders the training they need to develop local and county animal disaster and emergency response teams.

Other sponsorship recipients included the Wyoming Department of Health and Wyoming VMA for a joint winter meeting. The goal is to educate Wyoming veterinarians on their role before, during, and after a disaster involving a zoonotic disease. Interested physicians and other health care providers also are invited to attend, and organizers hope to double attendance from the 40 to 50 veterinary professionals who attended two similar meetings held in 2008.

Also, the Navajo Nation Veterinary & Livestock Program will receive funding for five presentations this year. Titled “Navajo Nation Emergency Response to Foreign Animal Disease,” the presentations will focus on preventive health measures, action to be taken during an emergency, and the recovery period. The program serves the Navajo population of roughly 250,000 in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

news update

Relief campaign aids more than 1,400 unwanted horses

Early experience with a program established to provide vaccines to equine rescue and retirement facilities indicates that the program is fulfilling an important need.

The Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign is composed of veterinarians and qualifying organizations that hold rescued or retired horses. It was established jointly by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The campaign, launched this past December (see JAVMA, Feb. 1, 2009, page 305), has already provided aid to more than 1,400 horses in the U.S. A portion of all Intervet/Schering-Plough equine vaccine sales, beginning Dec. 1, 2008, fund the program.

As of early May, Intervet/Schering-Plough had donated 1,470 doses of West Nile virus vaccines, 1,380 doses of rabies vaccines, and 1,470 doses of a vaccine against equine herpesvirus type 1 and western equine encephalomyelitis virus.

The widespread need for a nonprofit program such as the UHVRC was evident from the more than 100 applications received by the program since Jan. 1. Applications for more than 4,500 horses have been submitted by facilities in 35 states.

Equine rescue and retirement facilities are selected to receive complimentary equine vaccines on the basis of a completed application, compliance with the AAEP Care Guidelines for Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, the facility's need, the potential impact on horses' lives, and the professional manner in which the facility is managed. An AAEP member-veterinarian must work with each equine rescue or retirement facility to submit an application, the facilities checklist, and the vaccine order form.

A review committee of AAEP veterinarians then decides which facilities are awarded a year's supply of vaccines. The next deadline for applications is Sept 1.

To download an application and the AAEP care guidelines or to learn more about the UHVRC, visit www.UHVRC.org.

Ulcers frequent among all types of horses, company says

Experts agree that everyday stressors can contribute to gastric ulcer formation in horses. All breeds and disciplines have been found to develop ulcers, sometimes in as little as five days.

An awareness campaign led by Merial sought to bring greater exposure to the issue of gastric ulceration in horses by hosting gastroscopy events across the country this past year.

In all, 658 horses from 25 states participated in events at veterinary clinics and university hospitals. About 60 percent—397 horses—had some ulceration evident during gastroscopy. Of those, 60 percent had grade 1 ulceration, which indicates mild ulcers with small lesions or damaged tissue.

Horses of various breeds and ranging from 1 to 41 years old were found to have gastric ulcers. In addition, ulcers were found both in horses kept in box stalls and those kept on pastures, and were evident regardless of whether horses were in training or rarely ridden.

Racing horses had the highest prevalence of ulcers—35 out of the 38 participating. Of the 17 reining horses evaluated, 13 had the condition. Show jumper and eventing horses didn't fare much better, with 67 percent (8 of 12) and 62 percent (28 of 45) showing ulceration, respectively.

The campaign also found that 254 horses in which gastric ulcers were diagnosed had no previous history of the condition. In addition, some horses fed supplements such as beet pulp, flaxseed oil, and corn oil still were identified with gastric ulcers.

According to a release issued by Merial, a number of triggers exist for gastric ulcer development. Horses are especially sensitive and may experience stress when exposed to situations such as competition, training, travel, lay-up due to sickness or injury, shows or events, limited turnout or grazing, or trailering.

New stem cell lab for horses opens at UC-Davis

A state-of-the art facility that will process, culture, and store stem cells to treat injuries in horses opened May 18 at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital will provide stem cell collection kits to private practitioners, according to a UC-Davis press release. That way, they can harvest stem cells from their equine patients and safely ship the cells to the UC-Davis laboratory for processing or storage. Processed stem cell then will be returned so that the veterinarians can treat their patients.

Dr. Sean D. Owens, director of the new stem cell laboratory, said, “We can use pharmacological medicine to alleviate the pain associated with orthopedic injuries in horses, but only with biological medicine such as stem cell therapy can we actually repair the damage that has already been done.”

The new laboratory is supported by funding from the veterinary school and the Center for Equine Health. It is one of only four such university-based veterinary stem cell laboratories in the U.S. and Canada, according to the press release. Similar laboratories—those that provide research and stem cell therapy services for equine patients—are located at the veterinary colleges at Cornell University and Kansas State University and the University of Guelph in Canada.

The UC-Davis veterinary school's Center for Equine Health also is coordinating a five-year collaborative research study, now in its second year, on the use of stem cells in horses. Eleven veterinary researchers are working to develop methods for collecting, processing, storing, and administering stem cells to repair bone, tendon, and ligament injuries. The team's early findings indicate that stem cell treatments may reduce the recurrence of certain tendon and ligament injuries and lessen the progression of arthritis associated with traumatic joint diseases in horses.

This veterinary team, under the direction of professor and equine surgeon Dr. Larry D. Galuppo, also has established a working partnership with the UC-Davis Health System's Stem Cell Program in human medicine.

The Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the University of London Royal Veterinary College also have similar research programs, but services are provided through outside companies.

For more information about the new UC-Davis stem cell laboratory, visit www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/regen_med.

Funding shortage forces closure of Fresno lab

Budget shortfalls have caused the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System to close its Fresno location effective July 19.

The laboratory system, operated by the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine since 1987, provides diagnostic services for veterinarians and animal producers in California's agricultural heartland. Closure of the nearly 60-year-old Fresno laboratory will shift diagnostic testing to other facilities in the laboratory system, according to a May 18 UC-Davis press release.

Dean Bennie I. Osburn said reduced state funding combined with rising costs associated with managing a sophisticated laboratory system has left it struggling to maintain services. Compounded by the weak economy, the dire fiscal situation has left the system with a projected funding deficit of more than $2 million in 2009-2010.

The laboratory system has its reference laboratory at UC-Davis and branch laboratories in Turlock, Fresno, Tulare, and San Bernardino. The network of diagnostic laboratories receives approximately 80 percent of its funding from a contract with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The remainder comes from fee-for-service testing provided to veterinarians and agricultural producers.

The laboratory system has contacted area veterinarians and agricultural producers via e-mail, alerting them to the Fresno laboratory's impending closure and informing them of plans for continued diagnostic services.

Lilly Companion Animal Health moves under Elanco name

Lilly Companion Animal Health has announced that it will be changing its name to Elanco Companion Animal Health.

Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, has been in the animal health business since 1954 and has a presence in the beef, swine, dairy, and poultry markets. Lilly Companion Animal Health entered the industry in 2007.

With the name change from Lilly to Elanco Companion Animal Health, all of Lilly's animal health business will be under the Elanco brand.

obituaries: AVMA Honor Roll Member AVMA Member Nonmember

Mike Bracken

Dr. Bracken (MO '72), 62, Harrison, Ark., died April 13, 2009. He owned Bracken Animal Clinic in Harrison for 35 years. Dr. Bracken served on the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Examining Board for several years. His wife, Janet, and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Hills, 501 E. Sherman, Harrison, AR 72601.

Gary E. Budahn

Dr. Budahn (MIN '75), 58, Sacramento, Calif., died April 29, 2009. An equine veterinarian, he was in practice at the Cal Expo Racetrack. Dr. Budahn was also the founder of The Gusty Stable in Rolling Hills Estate, Calif. During his career, he practiced at Hollywood Park, Los Alamitos Race Course, and Bay Meadows Racetrack. Dr. Budahn was a past president of the California Harness Horsemen's Association and served on its board of directors for 12 years. His wife, Debra; two daughters; and a son survive him.

Richard J. Clement

Dr. Clement (UP '77), 57, Potomac, Md., died Feb. 4, 2009. A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, he owned Seven Locks Animal Hospital in Potomac. Dr. Clement was also the chief executive officer of Fertile Hemispheres Inc., manufacturers of animal health products, and served as president of the company's Web site, www.VetPlanet.Net. Early in his career, Dr. Clement practiced at Columbia Animal Hospital in Columbia, Md. He was a member of the Montgomery County VMA and volunteered his services to the county's humane society for more than 20 years.

Dr. Clement is survived by his wife, Diana, and three daughters. Memorials may be made to C&O Canal Association, P.O. Box 366, Glen Echo, MD 20812; or Montgomery County Humane Society, 14645 Rothgeb Drive, Rockville, MD 20850.

Charles E. Copenhaver

Dr. Copenhaver (TEX '51), 81, Midland, Texas, died May 11, 2009. Prior to retirement, he practiced at the Magnum Animal Clinic in Houston for 43 years. Dr. Copenhaver was a member of the Texas and Harris County VMAs and a veteran of the Navy. He is survived by two daughters and a son, Dr. Charles E. Copenhaver Jr. (TEX '81), who owns Midland Equine Practice.

James L. Davis

Dr. Davis (OSU '57), 77, Parkersburg, W.Va., died March 22, 2009. He owned a small animal practice in Parkersburg for more than 30 years. During his career, Dr. Davis also practiced in West Virginia at Huntington and Williamstown, helped found the A-Vet Emergency Clinic in Parkersburg, and was instrumental in establishing the Animal Health Technician School at what is now known as Pierpont Community and Technical College.

He served on the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service from 1980-1986 and represented District IV on the AVMA Executive Board from 1989-1995. Dr. Davis was a past president of the West Virginia VMA and served on the West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine. In 1987, he was named WVVMA Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Davis is survived by his wife, Sally; a daughter; and two sons. Memorials may be made to the Parkersburg Community Foundation, 501 Avery St., Parkersburg, WV 26101.

Tracy W. French

Dr. French (PUR '77), 57, Freeville, N.Y., died March 3, 2009. He was an associate professor and clinical pathologist in the Department of Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and a past president of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Dr. French helped develop eClinPath, an online clinical pathology text-book and atlas.

His wife, Mica; a son; a daughter; and four stepsons survive him. Memorials in his name, toward a prize in clinical pathology for a veterinary student, may be sent to Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, Box 39, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Roland E. Fuhrman

Dr. Fuhrman (UP '81), 56, Lancaster, Pa., died Feb. 20, 2009. He was the co-founder of Landisville Animal Hospital in Landisville, Pa. Dr. Fuhrman was a member of the Pennsylvania and Conestoga VMAs. Memorials toward the Roland E. Fuhrman Memorial Fund may be made to Landisville Animal Hospital, 3035 Harrisburg Pike, Landisville, PA 17538.

John F. Halsey

Dr. Halsey (COL '86), 56, Wittenberg, Wis., died Jan. 28, 2009. He owned the Birnamwood Veterinary Clinic in Birnamwood, Wis. Dr. Halsey's wife, Sherry; two sons; and a daughter survive him.

Thaddeus M. Howard

Dr. Howard (TEX '53), 79, Saint Hedwig, Texas, died April 21, 2009. From 1958 until retirement in 1999, he owned San Pedro Animal Hospital in San Antonio. Earlier in his career, Dr. Howard worked for the Department of Agriculture in meat and poultry inspection. He was a member of the Texas and Bexar County VMAs. An avid botanist, Dr. Howard authored the book “Bulbs for Warm Climates” and was awarded the Herbert Medal by the International Bulb Society. He was an Army Veterinary Corps veteran of the Korean War with the rank of 1st lieutenant. Memorials may be made to Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc., Attn: Lynn Cunys, P.O. Box 369, Kendalia, TX 78027.

Cristy L. Iverson

Dr. Iverson (COL '76), 58, Phoenix, died April 1, 2009. She practiced at Alta Vista Veterinary Hospital in Phoenix for the past four years. Dr. Iverson worked for more than 25 years at the Cortez Animal Hospital in Phoenix. Her daughter survives her. Memorials may be made to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Shepherds Foundation, Cristy's Memorial, 1500 W. Maryland Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85015.

Monte B. McCaw

Dr. McCaw (ISU '80), 53, Raleigh, N.C., died March 28, 2009. He was an associate professor of swine virology at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Earlier in his career, Dr. McCaw practiced large animal medicine in Lake City, Iowa. His wife, Teresa, and three sons survive him. Memorials toward the Lundy-Fetterman Scholarship Endowment in support of veterinary students studying swine medicine, with the check memo line notated “In memory of Dr. McCaw,” may be made to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation, 4700 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27606.

Eric R. Osterholm

Dr. Osterholm (CAL '78), 59, Acampo, Calif., died March 30, 2009. He owned Pioneer Equine Services of Acampo. Dr. Osterholm is survived by his wife, Patti. Memorials in his name may be made to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1388, Lodi, CA 95240.

William E. Plummer

Dr. Plummer (AUB '50), 84, Goldsboro, N.C., died March 28, 2009. He practiced in Goldsboro for 59 years and consulted for Goldsboro Milling Company. Dr. Plummer was a past president of the North Carolina VMA, was a member of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and served 10 years on the admissions committee of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He was named NCVMA Distinguished Veterinarian of the Year in 1974 and 1999, and was elected to the Wayne County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1989.

Active in civic life, Dr. Plummer served as commissioner of the Goldsboro Housing Authority for 16 years. In 2003, he was honored by the Wayne County Historical Society and inducted in their wall of fame. Dr. Plummer's wife, Mary; three sons; and a daughter survive him. Memorials toward the William E. Plummer Endowed Scholarship Fund, with the check memo line notated to the Dr. William E. Plummer Scholarship, may be made to North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation, 4700 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27606; or St. Paul United Methodist Church, 204 E. Chestnut St, Goldsboro, NC 27534.

Robert D. Ramsey

Dr. Ramsey (AUB '66), 68, Germantown, Tenn., died March 28, 2009. He practiced in Germantown. Dr. Ramsey was a veteran of the Air Force. His wife, Dianne; a daughter; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to Mid-South Spay and Neuter Clinic, 854 Goodman St., Memphis, TN 38111; or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Johnie L. Reeves

Dr. Reeves (TEX '50), 83, Austin, Texas, died April 26, 2009. He retired in 1975 as chief of veterinary services at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio. Following graduation, Dr. Reeves practiced briefly in Sweetwater, Texas. As a former member of the Army Air Corps, he was called to duty in the Air Force during the Korean War.

During his military career, Dr. Reeves served as veterinarian and public health officer in Oklahoma and New Mexico, a laboratory veterinary officer at the Aeromedical Research Laboratory in Ohio, and a laboratory research officer and instructor at the School of Aviation Medicine in San Antonio. He also taught at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Subsequently, Dr. Reeves directed the physiological chemistry division of the School of Aerospace Medicine, was a staff officer at Air Force Systems Command in Maryland, and served as staff officer and deputy to the assistant surgeon general for veterinary services in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Reeves attained the rank of colonel in the Air Force. He was a member of the American Physiological Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Veterinary Physiologists and Pharmacologists, and the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. In 1963, he received the Research and Development Award from the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the AMSUS Sustaining Membership Award. Dr. Reeves was the recipient of the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal in 1970.

His wife, Marilyn; a daughter; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to the Austin Community Foundation, P.O. Box 5159, Austin, TX 78763.

Harold E. Schaden

Dr. Schaden (UP '40), 94, Frederick, Md., died April 6, 2009. From 1942 until retirement in 1982, he owned a mixed animal practice in Frederick. Earlier in his career, Dr. Schaden worked at the Walker-Gordon Farm in Plainsboro, N.J. He was a past president of the Maryland VMA and served as its delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 1960-1962. Dr. Schaden was also a past member of the Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Active in civic life, he was vice president of the Frederick County Board of Education and a member of the Frederick Community College's board of trustees and the Kiwanis Club. Dr. Schaden is survived by a son and two daughters. His son, Dr. Michael E. Schaden (UP '72), is a veterinarian in Frederick. Memorials may be made to the Harold and Anna Lee Schaden Memorial Endowment Fund, Community Foundation of Frederick, 312 E. Church St., Frederick, MD 21701.

Arthur E. Scheld

Dr. Scheld (COR '63), 77, Clinton, Conn., died April 20, 2009. He was the founder of Clinton Veterinary Hospital. A member of the Connecticut VMA, Dr. Scheld served as its president in 1976. He volunteered with the Habitat for Humanity and was a member of the Clinton Historical Society. Dr. Scheld's wife, Joan; two daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to First Church of Christ Congregational, Church Road, Clinton, CT 06413; or Shoreline Church, Building Fund, P.O. Box 194, Old Saybrook, CT 06475.

Harry V. Sucher

Dr. Sucher (WSU '40), 93, Yorba Linda, Calif., died April 22, 2009. During his 40-year career in California, he practiced at Sacramento for 10 years and in Garden Grove for 30. Dr. Sucher was a member of the Southern California VMA. A motorcycle historian, he wrote the histories of the Indian and Harley-Davidson motorcycles and was a member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. He is survived by his wife, Margery; children; and stepchildren.

Raymond B. Swanson Jr.

Dr. Swanson (MIN '56), 76, Lake Elmo, Minn., died April 8, 2009. Prior to retirement in 2008, he worked for Veterinary Hospitals Association, an organization he helped found in 1984 in South St. Paul, Minn. During his career, Dr. Swanson also owned Hazel Park Veterinary Clinic in St. Paul and Oakwood Animal Hospital in Lake Elmo. He was a member of the Minnesota VMA and the Irish Setter and English Setter clubs of Minnesota, and was past secretary of the Minnesota Retired Veterinarians.

Active in civic life, Dr. Swanson was involved with the Washington County Agricultural Society, served as chair of the West Lakeland Planning Commission, and was a board member of the West Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. His wife, Carol; two sons; and four daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation, 101 Bridgepoint Way, Suite 100, South St. Paul, MN 55075.

Bruce W. Ueckert

Dr. Ueckert (TEX '62), 73, Bellville, Texas, died March 20, 2009. A member of the Harris County VMA, he practiced in the Houston area for 30 years. Dr. Ueckert was a veteran of the Navy. His wife, Jane, and two sons survive him.

Cecil D. Weaver

Dr. Weaver (TEX '83), 57, Burton, Texas, died March 23, 2009. He owned Brenham Veterinary Hospital in Brenham, Texas. Dr. Weaver was a member of the Society for Theriogenology, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, and the Texas, Bluebonnet Area, and Brazos Valley VMAs. He was also a member of the Brenham Rotary Club and was involved with the Washington County Fair.

Dr. Weaver is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and a son. Memorials may be made to the Texas Equine Veterinary Association, P.O. Box 1038, Canyon, TX 79015; Camp For All, 10500 N.W. Freeway, Suite 220, Houston, TX 77092; or the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg, IL 60172.

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