AVMA support for federal egg standard bill divides stakeholders
By R. Scott Nolen
The recent AVMA Executive Board vote supporting federal legislation that would establish national standards for treatment of egg-laying hens was not made lightly.
“It certainly was one of the most challenging decisions made during my tenure. It was a heartfelt vote,” said Executive Board Chair Ted Cohn, who has served on the AVMA board for the past six years.
The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 (H.R. 3798) introduced Jan. 23 would require that U.S. egg producers switch to larger, environmentally enriched hen housing systems over a 15- to 18-year period. Additionally, the measure prohibits removing feed and water to induce molting, sets limits on ammonia concentrations in henhouses, and makes compliance with AVMA-approved euthanasia methods mandatory.
Much of the egg industry favors a national standard in light of the current patchwork of state laws governing egg production. But opponents say the initiative amounts to an unprecedented expansion of government oversight on the nation's farms, where livestock are exempt from federal animal welfare regulations.
Equally distasteful to H.R. 3798 critics, the standards would codify an agreement reached in 2011 by United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States—an advocacy organization often at odds with livestock producers as well as the AVMA (see JAVMA, March 15, 2012, page 646).
During a Feb. 10 conference call, Executive Board members considered an AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee recommendation of support for H.R. 3798. The designation puts the Association on record as agreeing with the legislation but not actively pursuing its passage in Congress.
Before the board were competing memos from the AVMA's Animal Welfare and Animal Agricultural Liaison committees regarding the bill. In giving their reasons for supporting H.R. 3798, the AWC explained that the legislation is consistent with AVMA policies addressing this area of animal agriculture, specifically “Layer Hen Housing Systems'’ and “Induced Molting of Layer Chickens.” Moreover, available science and production data suggest that enriched colony housing may enhance overall hen welfare while retaining productivity, according to the AWC memo.
In its own memo, the Animal Agricultural Liaison Committee expressed strong support for animal welfare standards for livestock, including several standards listed in H.R. 3798. The committee advised the Executive Board against supporting the legislation, however, because of concerns about the precedent-setting nature of legislating animal welfare standards and worries that the bill sets the stage for similar attempts at regulating other areas of animal agriculture.
After nearly an hour of deliberation, the AVMA board concurred with the LAC and AWC opinions, and voted in favor of supporting the bill.
Board members knew their action would make political adversaries, at least on this issue, of some allies of the AVMA. While board members sympathized with concerns about government oversight of on-farm welfare practices, their vote was ultimately based on a single rationale: The proposed colony housing and enrichment standards would likely improve the lives of some 280 million egg-laying hens.
“We recognized the controversy supporting this bill would create,” Dr. Cohn explained. “We also recognized we weren't going to make people happy no matter what we did, which made the decision difficult. But we knew we needed to do what was best for the animals.”
News of the AVMA board's decision spread quickly.
“The AVMA's support for H.R. 3798 enhances veterinarians as the group to initiate and support common-sense solutions that can bridge the animal rights/livestock continuum and present American agriculture as 21st century leaders in safe and healthy food,” said Dr. Kurt Schrader, the Oregon congressman who introduced the legislation.
UEP President and CEO Gene Gregory welcomed the AVMA's endorsement of the legislation his organization helped create. “The AVMA is the most highly respected association of veterinarians and works for the health and welfare of all animals, including pets. We believe these professionals are the ones most qualified to recommend and evaluate standards for the welfare of animals. Therefore, their support was critically important,” Gregory said.
Opponents of H.R. 3798 have called the Executive Board decision shortsighted, and even a sop to animal rights groups. The AVMA heard from farm, livestock, and veterinary organizations as well as some congressional staff members upset about the board's vote. Kelli Ludlum, director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the AVMA position is disappointing.
“AVMA's own science acknowledges that conventional cages, if used appropriately, can be effective for ensuring animal welfare,” Ludlum said. “We understand the decision was made because the AVMA was being proactive and looking forward to continuous improvements, but we're disappointed the AVMA took a position that effectively rules out the use of conventional cages by producers.” The AFBF will work with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council, among others, to prevent H.R. 3798 from becoming law, Ludlum noted.
Since the vote, AVMA officials have been talking with unhappy stakeholders to explain the reasons behind the Executive Board vote.
The Association's endorsement also touched a nerve within the veterinary profession itself. Dr. Bob Evans is the American Association of Avian Pathologists' representative on the AVMA Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee, which he also chairs. Although the AAAP supports the national egg standards, he considers H.R. 3798 an onerous bill, because it makes legislators—not veterinarians—responsible for establishing animal care and welfare standards, and requires legislative action when changes are needed.
Dr. Evans says he isn't surprised by the Executive Board decision, which he believes was driven more by a need for political expediency than hard science. For him and other AALC members, the issue reignited questions about whether the AVMA adequately represents food animal veterinarians, who account for fewer than 20 percent in the profession. “As a representative of AALC, I can say that in that group, there is a sense of a disconnect between us and this Executive Board,” Dr. Evans said.
“We recognized the controversy supporting this bill would create. We also recognized we weren't going to make people happy no matter what we did, which made the decision difficult. But we knew we needed to do what was best for the animals.”
Dr. Ted Cohn, AVMA Executive Board chair
AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven was sensitive to the AALC's concerns. He did not agree that the decision was driven by political correctness, however, or that the board was not adequately representing food animal veterinarians.
“The AVMA Executive Board carefully reviewed the science behind the legislation and all of the relevant factors, including input from the AALC,” he said. “The board is also keenly aware of AVMA's key role as a leader in animal welfare.”
Dr. DeHaven continued, “The AVMA represents all aspects of veterinary medicine, and our strong support for food animal veterinarians is seen throughout the organization. Indeed, the majority of our highest-priority ‘active pursuit’ issues on the AVMA's legislative agenda pertain to large animals, including our fiscal year 2013 appropriations priorities, (opposition to) the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, and the 2012 Farm Bill reauthorization.”
The struggle to arrive at an appropriate response to H.R. 3798 occurred at all levels of the AVMA's evaluation process. The Animal Welfare Committee was “acutely aware” of the sensitivities surrounding H.R. 3798 and carefully considered the proposal before recommending AVMA support, according to Dr. J. Bruce Nixon, the Association of Avian Veterinarians representative to the committee, and its chair.
“We started by reviewing existing AVMA policies, then considered what science was and was not available regarding enriched colony housing. We also evaluated possible scenarios pertinent to industry economics and sustainability,” Dr. Nixon explained. “All our stakeholders were most certainly not in agreement in this case. We have a responsibility to listen to all sides of an issue. In this case, we not only listened but actively sought out stakeholders who had reservations as well as those close to the issue personally and professionally.”
The favorable recommendation the Legislative Advisory Committee submitted to the Executive Board did not have the backing of all committee members, according to LAC Chair John de Jong. Additionally, the LAC had “strong reservations'’ about the federal government legislating welfare standards, particularly given the difficulties associated with amending the standards, should the science change, said Dr. de Jong, who also serves on the Executive Board.
AVMA leadership anticipated criticism from stakeholders, but taking no action would have been seen as “waffling” on a matter consistent with Association policy, Dr. de Jong explained.
“We should be seen as the most important organization in this country regarding animal welfare,” he said. “People in the legislative arena and the public should turn to us when they want answers as to what's the right thing to do when it comes to animal welfare issues. Supporting this issue should speak volumes.”
Iraqis see AVMA education standards as model
By R. Scott Nolen
A delegation of Iraqi veterinarians spent a week at AVMA headquarters in suburban Chicago, Feb. 27-March 2, to foster ties between the two associations.
AVMA staff provided an overview of Association operations, touching on topics ranging from membership outreach to publication of the AVMA journals. Six Iraqis, including a Kurdish veterinarian and two facilitators working in the United States, formed the delegation.
Iraq is home to approximately 10,000 veterinarians, almost all food animal practitioners, according to Dr. Ali Waheed Mohsin, vice president of the Iraqi Veterinary Medical Syndicate. Nearly half the nation's veterinarians are employed by the Ministry of Agriculture, while around a thousand veterinarians work in the private sector, Dr. Mohsin said.
Because millions of livestock were killed during the Iraq War, many veterinarians are unemployed—a problem compounded by the graduation of 500 or so veterinarians annually from the nation's 14 veterinary colleges, Dr. Mohsin explained.
Veterinary graduates in Iraq are licensed to practice without first having to pass an examination to assess their competence. And so, the Iraqi delegation was particularly interested in learning from the AVMA about its efforts to ensure high-quality veterinary education standards in the United States.
Much of the briefings focused on the AVMA Council on Education's accreditation of U.S. and foreign veterinary schools as well as the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates' program evaluating the skills and knowledge of veterinarians trained at institutions that have not been accredited by the AVMA. The AVMA also helped coordinate a daylong meeting between the delegation and the ECFVG testing vendor, Prometric, on best practices in developing certification and licensure examinations.
Dr. Mohsin has plans for the IVMS to institute a similar test in Iraq and to begin evaluating the education standards at his nation's veterinary colleges.
“We want to continue this cooperation with AVMA,” Dr. Mohsin said. “We need support from the AVMA to establish a (competence) examination in Iraq and assess education standards at the schools.”
The AVMA is proud to be seen as a global leader in advocating for the veterinary profession, according to Dr. Elizabeth Sabin, international coordinator and assistant director of the AVMA Education and Research Division. Through these exchanges, the AVMA can provide fledgling associations with ideas on how they might better advocate for animal health, she explained.
“The AVMA also benefits, because a better understanding of issues impacting all veterinarians helps the Association advance its strategic plan and ensure that the U.S. veterinary profession's voice is heard in international settings,” Dr. Sabin said.
A lesson in advocacy
Veterinary students from across the country gathered Feb. 12–14 in Washington, D.C., for the fourth annual AVMA Student Legislative Fly-In, hosted by the AVMA Governmental Relations Division.
GRD staff briefed students on legislative issues pertaining to the veterinary profession. Students also learned the keys to effective advocacy and the importance of veterinarians talking with legislators about policies affecting animal and human health.
“The fly-in is based in D.C., but the tools presented can be applied to several arenas. An effective advocate can be a voice in their state and local communities as well,” said Katie Zatroch, a third-year veterinary student at The Ohio State University.
Students met with Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska. The three-term Republican congressman spoke about the importance of students undertaking grassroots advocacy and establishing personal relationships with their congressional offices. Smith also discussed his positions on AVMA legislative priorities, and stressed the need for veterinarians to be political advocates at the state and national levels.
On the final day of their visit, students met with representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss two bills on the AVMA legislative agenda: the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act of 2011 (H.R. 2492/S. 1947) and the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011 (H.R. 1406). The AVMA is actively pursuing passage of the former bill and opposes the latter, which would impose new stipulations on veterinary prescriptions.
“These students are the AVMA's future leaders,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, AVMA GRD director. “Their Capitol Hill visits helped educate members of Congress and their staffs about critical issues facing the veterinary profession.”
Education council schedules site visits
The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to eight schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for the remainder of 2012.
Site visits are planned for the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, April 22–26; University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science, June 3–7; Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Sept. 16–20; Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Sept. 30-Oct. 4; University of London Royal Veterinary College, Oct. 14–18; University of Montreal Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Nov. 4–8; and Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, Dec. 2–8.
A consultative site visit is planned for the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 28-Nov. 1.
The council welcomes written comments on these plans or the programs to be evaluated. Comments should be addressed to Dr. David E. Granstrom, Director, Education and Research Division, AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173. Comments must be signed by the person submitting them to be considered.
CATalyst promotes shelter-practitioner relations
Council also releases results of cat-friendly practice makeovers
By Katie Burns
The CATalyst Council, a coalition of cat advocates, is launching a pilot program to help improve relations between private practitioners and animal shelters.
The recent Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study documented that many veterinarians in private practice have concerns about shelters providing veterinary services. CATalyst is seeking to allay these concerns by building partnerships between private practitioners and animal care and control agencies to achieve common goals in feline and canine health and welfare.
Council leaders discussed the initiative Feb. 20 during a press conference at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas. The council also released results from a pilot program to make over practices to be more cat-friendly, revealing that makeover participants saw an increase in feline veterinary visits.
The initiative to improve relations between shelters and private practitioners, Top to Top, began with CATalyst facilitating an alliance between the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives.
CATalyst is conducting a Top to Top pilot program during the second and third quarters of 2012 to build partnerships at the local level between animal care and control agencies and private practitioners. The council has developed supportive resources available to anyone.
“We have provided tools for communities to use where shelters and veterinarians can work together to increase homing, decrease relinquishment, increase a lifetime of health care,” said Dr. Jane Brunt, CATalyst executive director, in an interview after the WVC.
The Bayer study's 2011 survey of companion animal practice owners found that 20 percent of respondents were very concerned about competition from “low cost” or “limited service” clinics, and 13 percent were very concerned about competition from shelter veterinarians.
Practice owners in the Bayer study's 2010 focus groups expressed concerns about losing starter services that establish a relationship with clients, including vaccinations and spay and neuter operations.
Resources for the Top to Top pilot program include examples of communities where shelters and private practitioners have worked together to achieve common goals.
One example is Omaha, Neb., where the Nebraska Humane Society and local veterinarians have collaborated in a variety of ways.
Kiley Maddux, NHS vice president of operations, said the humane society refers pet adopters to the many local veterinarians who offer free examinations of newly adopted pets. The Bayer study found that 45 percent of companion animal practices offer a free first examination for pets adopted from shelters.
“We know that we can't provide the ongoing care that the adopters need, and we stress it to the adopters how important it is that they do see their veterinarian,” Maddux said.
In a past cooperative program that ran out of funding, the humane society gave vouchers to low-income pet owners for spay and neuter operations by local veterinarians, said Pam Wiese, NHS vice president of public relations and marketing. She said participating veterinarians submitted the vouchers to the NHS for reimbursement at a reduced rate.
For communities where shelters and private practitioners want to improve relations, CATalyst's Top to Top resources include materials to help initiate a partnership.
CATalyst collaborated with ThinkPets Inc., a provider of client communications and practice analytics, on the cat-friendly practice makeovers. Dr. Brunt said the pilot program demonstrated that practices can increase feline veterinary visits and revenues from those visits.
The pilot cat-friendly makeover program ran from April through September 2011. Makeover participants reported a median increase in number of feline veterinary visits of 9.6 percent, comparing May through September 2010 with May through September 2011. A control group of practices reported a median decrease of 1.1 percent in number of feline veterinary visits during the same time frame.
“We are extremely pleased with these results; the increase exceeded our expectations, and we look forward to expanding the program and offering it to more practices,” said Dr. Alexis Nahama, chair of the CATalyst board of directors.
He continued, “With a larger group, we could gain insights on the weight each individual tactic had on the final results and provide veterinarians with a more modular tool set of tactics they could select for their individual hospital's challenges. Our goal is to make it easier to bring more clients into their practices, but also consistently delivering better care to cats.”
The pilot cat-friendly makeover program focused on staff training and support, education of existing clients, and implementation of consistent standards of feline care.
Report details methods for helping low-income pet owners
A new report by the Humane Society of the United States highlights the need for accessible and affordable pet care in underserved communities.
The document, “Pets for Life—A New Community Understanding,” released Jan. 27, states that increasing access and removing cost barriers to animal care and veterinary services for pet owners in blighted areas will improve community animal health and reduce shelter overpopulation.
The report presents data gathered from events organized by the HSUS Pets for Life program, which uses various strategies to extend the reach of animal services, resources, and information to help people resolve obstacles to keeping pets in the family. It is one of many national programs that targets low-income pet owners (see JAVMA, Oct. 1, 2009, page 795).
According to a 2010 survey by the American Pet Products Association, 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which it calculates represents 72.9 million homes. At the same time, 46.2 million people were living in poverty in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In difficult economic times, families can have trouble providing for the health and welfare of pets, as demonstrated in the report. The key findings include the following:
• Fifty-three percent of owners of sexually intact pets included in the survey had never seen a veterinarian before.
• Eighty-seven percent of attendees at Pets for Life events had never contacted their local animal control or animal shelter organization for any reason.
• Meeting people in the neighborhoods where they live and marketing services strategically, using canvassing and community organizing techniques, is much more effective than traditional advertising in reaching owners of sexually intact pets in underserved communities.
• Confirming spay or neuter appointments a day or two beforehand substantially increased the likelihood of owners following through.
The data used in the report were taken from service records and surveys conducted at 16 outreach events in 11 markets held since March 2010 and represent close to 4,000 people and their 5,377 pets.
“The data in this report is evidence that there are large segments of our population that are not counted in animal welfare or veterinary statistics, and which are not being serviced by the animal welfare and veterinary fields,” according to the report. “To successfully address this current gap in services, animal welfare service providers must recognize and understand the value in building trusting relationships with the human caregivers of companion animals. Meeting people where they are, approaching them without judgment, and understanding their circumstances is critical to the efforts of animal welfare service providers in creating real and lasting change in their communities.”
Study examining swine veterinarians' MRSA risk
Researchers in Minnesota hope to improve understanding of the frequency, duration, and risks of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization and infection among swine veterinarians.
The results could be used to help reduce health risks for those who work with swine.
Dr. Peter Davies, a professor of swine health and production at the University of Minnesota and lead researcher on the project, said that in previous studies, high percentages of nasal swabs taken from veterinarians have been positive for methicillin-resistant S aureus. The present study is needed to provide missing information on the implications of those positive nasal culture results, help determine whether positive culture results reflect colonization or transient contamination, and quantify health risks for veterinarians, he said.
The project is being conducted through the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center at the University of Minnesota; the center is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The center is receiving about $1.6 million in funding this year, and about $160,000 of the year's budget is going toward the MRSA project, a CDC spokeswoman said.
The study authors intend to examine S aureus colonization patterns in 70 U.S. swine veterinarians over 18 months, determine the incidence of occupation-related skin and soft-tissue infections, assess protective measures used by swine veterinarians, and quantify the associations between exposure to pigs and the risk that swine veterinarians will be colonized or infected with MRSA or methicillin-susceptible S aureus strains, according to information from Dr. Davies.
The S aureus strains found in swine veterinarians will be typed to determine whether they are associated with livestock, and the project will include a concurrent survey of occupational hazards and risk-reduction practices among swine veterinarians, according to information from the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center.
“Collectively, the project will provide the first longitudinal assessment of the risk of human colonization and infection with livestock-associated MRSA and its association with animal contact and personal protection practices,” information from the center states. “This information will be relevant to continuing education of veterinarians and farmers with respect to reducing occupational risk of zoonotic disease.”
Spending flat on veterinary care for pets
The American Pet Products Association released a report in March revealing that spending on veterinary care by U.S. pet owners increased 2.9 percent to $13.41 billion in 2011, as the consumer price index increased 3.2 percent. The APPA predicts only a 1.3 percent increase in spending on veterinary care for 2012.
According to the APPA report, overall spending in the pet industry increased 5.3 percent to $50.96 billion in 2011. The association projects a 3.8 percent overall increase in 2012.
In 2011, spending increased 7.9 percent to $3.79 billion in the category of pet services such as grooming, boarding, pet hotels, pet sitting, and day care. For pet supplies and over-the-counter medications, spending increased 7.6 percent to $11.77 billion.
Food spending increased 5.8 percent to $19.85 billion in 2011. Spending on purchases of live animals increased 0.4 percent to $2.14 billion.
The APPA projects an increase in spending on pet health insurance, which falls under the category of veterinary care. The association estimated that spending on pet health insurance was $450 million in 2011 and will increase to more than $500 million in 2012.
Iowa outlaws lying to enter farms
Law targets advocacy group investigations
By Greg Cima
Activists could be jailed if they lie to obtain jobs on Iowa farms and document actions and conditions on those farms without permission.
On March 2, Gov. Terry E. Branstad signed House File 589, creating a law against “agricultural production facility fraud.” The law gives police and prosecutors opportunities to pursue criminal charges against individuals who gain access to agricultural facilities through deception or false statements.
The legislation was opposed by animal advocacy organizations, which have said that video secretly captured by their investigators has revealed cruelty and neglect on farms, including some in Iowa.
The crimes defined under the new Iowa law are punishable by up to one year in jail for the first conviction and up to two years of imprisonment for subsequent convictions, according to information from the Iowa Legislature and the Iowa Department of Human Rights. Those convicted of conspiring to commit such fraud would face similar punishment.
Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, said the bill doesn't prevent farm employees or visitors from reporting problems, but it provides criminal penalties for someone caught entering a farm with intent to harm the business or animals. He also said many actions by farm owners or employees can be unfairly portrayed to those unfamiliar with animal handling practices, particularly when footage of those actions is accompanied by dim lighting and dramatic music.
Hill said he and others on farms frequently pick up baby pigs by their rear legs, for example.
“That looks like you're hurting that pig or it's a bad practice when, really, veterinarians will tell you that's the best way to handle a baby pig,” he said.
Paul Shapiro, senior director of farm animal protection for the Humane Society, said that, in recent years, the undercover investigations by his and other organizations have exposed otherwise hidden cruelty to animals and unsafe conditions for production of food for humans. He cited the Humane Society investigation that, in early 2008, showed abuse of downed animals and led to a recall of 143 million pounds of beef and closure of the Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. slaughter plant.
“Had this type of a law been on the books in California, that slaughter plant would still be operating, the cruelty to animals would still be occurring there, and that potentially unsafe meat would still be going to our nation's schools,” Shapiro said.
The Humane Society released in 2010 footage that its investigator captured at four Iowa egg-laying hen facilities, where the HSUS said birds suffered under cruel conditions.
Mercy for Animals also objected to the law, which organization officials said criminalizes the actions of those who “expose cruelty to animals, corporate corruption, dangerous working conditions, environmental violations, or food safety concerns at factory farms.” On at least three occasions since 2009, the organization has released footage that it said showed abuses seen by its investigators when they worked in Iowa farm facilities housing swine and egg-laying hens.
Shapiro said in mid-March the Humane Society had not decided whether to fight implementation of the Iowa law, and the organization was opposing bills with similar provisions in other states.
The Iowa VMA adopted a neutral position on the legislation that led to the Iowa law, said Dr. Tom Johnson, executive director of the IVMA. The AVMA did not take a position on the bill.
Examples of similar state legislation that is being considered or recently has been considered are Utah H.B. 187, which would define unauthorized recording on farms as criminal “agriculture operation interference”; Illinois H.B. 5143, which would define such recording as criminal “animal facility interference” and enact provisions similar to those in the Iowa bill; and Nebraska L.B. 915, which would require reporting of animal mistreatment within 12 hours of its observation, require inclusion of copies of any related recordings along with reports of mistreatment, and outlaw disruption of “animal facility” operations.
Organization to accredit racehorse retirement facilities
A group of Thoroughbred industry stakeholders in February announced the establishment of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to accredit facilities that care for and adopt out Thoroughbred racehorses after retirement—and to raise funds for accredited facilities.
Breeders' Cup Ltd., the Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association Inc. provided the seed money for the TAA.
“It is our responsibility as owners, tracks, breeders, trainers, jockeys, bloodstock agents, and anyone who has a stake in the game to take responsibility for the aftercare of these great animals who are the keystone of our sport,” said Jack Wolf, TAA board president and Thoroughbred owner.
The TAA will accredit aftercare facilities on the basis of a code of standards covering operations, education, horse management, facility services, and adoption policies. The TAA will raise funds on behalf of accredited facilities via institutional contributions.
Vaccine could reduce wild horse overpopulation
By Greg Cima
A recently registered immunocontraceptive vaccine could help stabilize or reduce populations of wild horses and burros.
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency granted the Humane Society of the United States registration of an injectable porcine zona pellucida product, ZonaStat-H, as a restricted-use pesticide to control populations of wild and feral horses and burros. Under provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the EPA can consider nonhuman animals to be pests if they harm human or environmental health.
Holly Hazard, senior vice president for programs and innovation for the HSUS, hopes use of ZonaStat-H will lessen the need to round up herds of wild horses and burros, reducing stress on the animals and giving them more natural lives. She also expects that the immunocontraceptive will reduce costs to the Bureau of Land Management, which would spend up to $200 each year per mare on ZonaStat-H and a slow-release contraceptive instead of more than $100,000 on each herd gathered and more than $500 annually for care of each horse.
“Treating those animals on the range and releasing them is a bargain,” she said.
An EPA memorandum published in July 2010 indicates that vaccination of mares on Assateague Island National Seashore, off the eastern coasts of Maryland and Virginia, was associated with increased lifespan and improved body condition scores, compared with findings for mares that endured the stresses of gestation and lactation. It also said that studies showed fertility didn't return in mares that had been treated for more than seven years.
Hazard said mares that avoid the stress of yearly foaling also live healthier, longer lives. The HSUS hopes the vaccine can be used to gradually reduce horse and burro overpopulation until the BLM needs to gather only as many horses as it can reasonably expect to remove from rangelands through adoption, about 4,000 animals annually.
In response to questions about the vaccine, BLM officials provided a statement in early March that the vaccine was being used according to individual herd circumstances. Because it is effective for one year, the agency still will likely need to gather horses for adoption.
“The ZonaStat-H vaccine will be used where BLM feels it can help make a difference controlling population growth rates and where it is anticipated that the horses can be approached for darting,” the response states. “In other areas, BLM uses the longer-lasting pelleted PZP-22 product that is hand-injected after the animals are captured. PZP-22 seems to offer about two years of efficacy.”
ZonaStat-H can be delivered by hand, jab stick, or syringe dart, label information states.
BLM information also indicates the wild horse and burro herd populations grow about 20 percent yearly, and the bureau removes thousands of horses annually to protect rangelands. The Western rangeland has about 38,500 free-roaming horses and burros, about 12,000 more than can exist “in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.”
Wild horse adoptions have declined in recent years, and more than 47,000 horses and burros were held in corrals and pastures in February 2012, BLM information states.
The HSUS first applied for registration of the porcine zona pellucida vaccine as a contraceptive for horse and burro population control in September 2009. The EPA's November 2011 proposal to grant the HSUS application states that, like deer and geese, “horses may be pests in some situations.”
The product is the second immunocontraceptive vaccine registered with the EPA. In 2009, the agency granted a Department of Agriculture request for registration of GonaCon, a mammalian gonadotropin–releasing hormone vaccine used to control deer populations. The agency has also registered the nicarbazin-based OvoControl contraceptive pesticide that is used to control pest bird populations.
In describing the need for the vaccine, the EPA cited in its proposal the effects of federal protection for horses, the lack of natural predators for wild horses in the U.S., increasing herd sizes, and ongoing efforts to relieve overpopulation.
“With high population levels and the inability to sell or adopt out all captured wild horses and burros, the BLM has expressed that there is an explicit need to manage wild horse and burro populations because uncontrolled populations may lead to adverse environmental effects such as degradation of wildlife and native vegetation habitat,” the proposal states. “Additionally, these populations may lead to conflicts with other rangeland uses such as cattle grazing and recreation.”
Hazard said in early March that the HSUS was working with the BLM toward using the vaccine on herds in the spring, and the vaccine has already had its first use outside of research.
“We just inoculated a herd last week in Utah that we've been working with for a number of years,” she said.
An efficacy summary included with the EPA documents indicates that, when ZonaStat-H was tested on mares at Assateague Island National Seashore, zero population growth was reached in two years, and the population declined over 11 years from 175 horses to 135.
Pets exposed to rabies during N.M. outbreak
More than 40 pets and livestock in southeastern New Mexico were euthanized because of exposure to rabid wild animals in late 2011 and early 2012, state health authorities said.
Dr. Paul Ettestad, New Mexico's state public health veterinarian, said the animals were affected by one of the state's most concentrated rabies outbreaks in decades.
The New Mexico Department of Health and Dr. Ettestad indicated that 32 dogs, one cat, and 10 sheep near Carlsbad were euthanized in December, January, and February because of exposure to rabid wildlife. Dr. Ettestad said that some of the sheep had been bitten by a rabid fox and that all had been exposed to the animal.
A department announcement noted lack of vaccination of the dogs.
“With the exception of puppies that were too young to be fully vaccinated, all of these deaths could have been prevented,” the announcement stated.
During those three months, tests confirmed 22 skunks, one dog, and one fox were infected with the rabies virus near Carlsbad, which is in Eddy County. In January and February, 12 of the county's residents were given rabies postexposure prophylaxis.
Dr. Ettestad said skunk populations in the western U.S. fluctuate every several years, and an increased population of skunks may have been attracted to potential food sources in urban areas during the past few years of drought.
“They're concentrated together, so they're going to interact with each other more, they're going to get noticed more, and more pets are going to interact with them,” he said.
He noted that no humans were directly exposed to rabid wild animals.
“But yet, when you had an unvaccinated dog that came down with rabies, all of a sudden you had all of the family members—eight people—who needed to get post-exposure prophylaxis,” he said.
New Mexico had 17 confirmed rabies infections in animals during the first two months of 2012 and 19 in all of 2011. Of the 2011 infections, 14 involved skunks and most were in Eddy County.
Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in early March that no rabid animals had been discovered in the three Texas counties bordering New Mexico's Eddy County since 2010, when an infected bat was found in Reeves County, Texas. In the first month of 2012, the only cluster of rabies infections in Texas appeared to involve skunks near Dallas, according to a map from the health department.
Western conference again a strong draw
The 84th annual Western Veterinary Conference, Feb. 19–23 in Las Vegas, drew nearly 15,000 attendees.
The registration included almost 6,500 veterinarians, about 2,000 veterinary technicians and practice managers, and other attendees with connections to animal health.
The 2012 conference featured hundreds of hours of continuing education for veterinarians and a separate agenda for veterinary technicians and practice managers. Highlights of the program included symposia, interactive labs, workshops, and lunch-and-learn sessions.
During the conference, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences announced a partnership with Pfizer Animal Health to develop an online CE program for veterinarians.
The WVC awarded $1,000 scholarships to one veterinary student from each of the 33 U.S. and Canadian veterinary colleges and one scholarship to a veterinary technician student.
Five veterinary postgraduates received Food Animal Incentive Awards for dedication to food animal practice. They are Drs. David Amrine, Kansas State University; Amanda Hartnack, The Ohio State University; Bradley Heins, University of Georgia; Jessica L. Gordon, University of Guelph; and Sarah Giebel, Washington State University.
Dr. Dick Shawley, Stillwater, Okla.; Vicki Olsen, Pahrump, Nev.; and Patti Davis, Walsenburg, Colo., received the WVC Special Recognition Award for leadership, service, and assistance to the WVC.
The 2011 Continuing Educators of the Year also received recognition. They are Dr. Teresa Lightfoot, Tampa, Fla., Avian and Exotics; Dr. James T. Blackford, Knoxville, Tenn., Equine; Dr. Geoffrey W. Smith, Raleigh, N.C., Food Animal; Dr. Karen E. Felsted, Dallas, Practice Management; Dr. David S. Biller, Manhattan, Kan., Small Animal; and Kim Spelts, Colorado Springs, Colo., Technician.
Event: Annual meeting, Feb. 2–4, Minneapolis
Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. John Howe, Grand Rapids. A 1977 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Howe established what is now known as North Country Veterinary Clinic in Grand Rapids. He chairs the Minnesota Aquatic Livestock Committee, is a member of the MVMA Governmental Affairs Committee, and was recently elected to serve as District VII representative on the AVMA Executive Board. Dr. Howe is vice chair of both the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service and AVMA Governance Performance Review Committee. He is a past president of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, Minnesota VMA, and Arrowhead VMA. A certified fish health inspector for the state of Minnesota, Dr. Howe is a member of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Association. Outstanding Faculty Award: Dr. Sandra Godden, St. Paul, won this award, given for outstanding service to Minnesota veterinarians, for giving time and talent to the veterinary profession, and for contributing to organized veterinary medicine. A 1993 graduate of the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College, Dr. Godden is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She is known for her work with baby calf physiology and husbandry as they relate to colostrum transfer and colostrum and milk pasteurization. Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Meg Glattly, Eagan, for special service to the profession of veterinary medicine and improving the profession as a result of that service. A 1979 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Glattly practices at Woodlake Veterinary Hospital. First appointed to the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine in 1997, she has served on the board for 12 years, including its complaint committee and as a liaison to the Health Professional Service Exam for the state. Dr. Glattly is a past chair of the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and has served on the board of directors of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Veterinary Service Award: David Perry, St. Paul, won this award, given to individuals who have promoted the veterinary profession or the well-being of animals. Prior to retirement in fall 2011, Perry served 13 years as chief executive officer of the Veterinary Hospitals Association. He is vice president of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation board of directors and a member of the American Society of Association Executives and Midwest Society of Association Executives. President's Award: Dr. Bill Hartmann, Hastings. A 1978 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Hartmann is Minnesota state veterinarian and executive director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Under him, the state has eradicated bovine tuberculosis and regained TB-free status. Dr. Hartmann has also helped fight chronic wasting disease and avian influenza, contributing to national policy on managing the H1N1 flu virus in swine populations. Outstanding Industry Representative Award: Dr. Steve Stewart, Woodbury. A 1980 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Stewart is an executive with Valley Ag Software, teaching and training veterinarians on critical thinking and the use of dairy records for decision making. Earlier, Dr. Stewart worked at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Life membership: This designation was granted to Drs. Harvey Aluni, Virginia; John Baillie, Stillwater; John Bowron, Luverne; Dennis Brewer, White Bear Lake; William Habedank, Red Wing; Daniel Heiden, Minnetonka; Glen Madsen, Redwood Falls; Richard McConnell, Newport; Carl Osborne, Roseville; Daniel Pearson, LaPorte; Jerald Sprau, Elkton; Byron Sugden, Effie; Marvin Trandem, Fairbault; John Youngberg, Milaca; and Glen Zebarth, Alexandria. The Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation awarded scholarships to seven veterinary students for their passion and dedication to the veterinary profession.
Officials: Drs. Sharon Hurley, New Ulm, president; John Baillie, Stillwater, president-elect; Alan Sletten, Fergus Falls, vice president; Jerald Sprau, Elkton, secretary-treasurer; and Michael Hodgman, Zumbrota, immediate past president
Kansas State University has selected Dr. Sara L. Mark (KSU ′83) as the 2012 Alumni Fellow representing the College of Veterinary Medicine. Alumni Fellows are chosen for their professional accomplishments and distinguished service in their respective careers. They return to campus to discuss trends and meet informally with students and faculty.
Dr. Mark owns Southwest Veterinary Hospital P.C. in Littleton, Colo. Her passion for animal-assisted activities and therapy found a home at Children's Hospital Colorado, where she developed the protocol for the internationally known Prescription Pet Program. Dr. Mark consults with organizations across the country regarding their pet therapy programs. She continues to volunteer at the children's hospital in several capacities.
Senior pets the focus of new group
Following a year of developmental meetings at the North American Veterinary Conference, Western Veterinary Conference, and AVMA Annual Convention in 2011, the International Veterinary Senior Care Society, an organization focused on the medical and behavioral care of senior pets, established its formal mission and elected its first officials. The society's mission is “to provide resources targeting the complete health care needs of senior pets to the veterinarian, their team and clients.”
Officials elected were Drs. Heidi Lobprise, Fort Worth, Texas, president; Fred Metzger, State College, Pa., president-elect; Marsha Reich, Silver Spring, Md., secretary; and Dave Bruyette, West Los Angeles, treasurer. They join board members Dr. Bernadine Cruz, Laguna Woods, Calif.; Julie Legred, Bricelyn, Minn.; Heather Lynch, Phoenix; Dave Merrick, Madison, Wis.; and Dr. Ernie Ward, Calabash, N.C., all of whom were named to the board earlier in 2011.
The Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases misidentified the winner of an NC-1041 Enteric Diseases (North Central Committee for Research on Enteric Diseases of Swine and Cattle) student award. The incorrect name ran in “CRWAD dedicated to Simmons,” published in the March 15, 2012, JAVMA News. Hyeun Bum Kim of the University of Minnesota took top prize in the award's oral category.
Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember
Robert A. Beck
Dr. Beck (WSU ′42), 92, Modesto, Calif., died Jan. 4, 2012. A mixed animal practitioner, he was a partner at Modesto Veterinary Hospital prior to retirement in 1973. In retirement, Dr. Beck continued the family rice farming operations. He was a founding member and a past president of the North San Joaquin VMA. Dr. Beck served on the boards of the California State Rabies Advisory Committee, California Rice Research Board, and Coast Veterinary Operation. Active in civic life, he was a past president of the Modesto Kiwanis Club, Modesto Irrigation District, and Modesto Memorial Hospital Association. In 1991, the American Legion named Dr. Beck Man of the Year. He and his wife, Virginia, were awarded the Stanislaus County Bar Association Liberty Bell Award for volunteerism in 1994. In 2005, Dr. Beck was named Distinguished Alumnus by the Modesto Junior College Foundation. He is survived by his wife and four sons. Memorials in his name may be made to the Modesto Chapter of the American Heart Association, 2007 O St., Sacramento, CA 95811.
Frederick C. Borgwardt
Dr. Borgwardt (MIN ′61), 79, Brainerd Lakes, Minn., died Feb. 1, 2012. He practiced mixed animal medicine in the Northfield area of Minnesota for more than 30 years. Dr. Borgwardt was a past president of the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine's Ethics Committee. He served eight years as a councilman in Northfield and was a member of the Town Board in Outing, Minn. Dr. Borgwardt's wife, Arline; a son; and two daughters survive him.
Glenn E. Duncan
Dr. Duncan (KSU ′41), 94, Tyndall, S.D., died Nov. 14, 2011. A mixed animal veterinarian, he owned a practice in Tyndall for more than 35 years. Dr. Duncan was a past president of the South Dakota Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and the South Dakota VMA. In 1967, he was the first recipient of the SDVMA Veterinarian of the Year Award. Dr. Duncan served in the Army, attaining the rank of major. His three daughters and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to the Duncan Scholarship, University of South Dakota, 414 E. Clark St., Vermillion, SD 57069.
Cleon W. Easton
Dr. Easton (COR ′51), 86, Delevan, N.Y., died Dec. 28, 2011. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Machias, N.Y., co-founding Machias Veterinary Service in 1967. In 1977, Dr. Easton retired from his practice and served as a track and supervising veterinarian with the state's Racing and Wagering Board until 1983. He was a member of the New York State VMS. Dr. Easton was a past supervisor of the town of Machias, served on the Cattaraugus County Legislature, and was a past chair of the Cattaraugus County Civil Service Commission. A Navy veteran of World War II, he was a member of the American Legion. Dr. Easton is survived by his wife, Anne; three sons; and two daughters.
Louis W. Feldman
Dr. Feldman (ISU ′42), 91, Story City, Iowa, died Sept. 8, 2011. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Rolfe, Iowa. Dr. Feldman served in the Army from 1942–1946. He is survived by two sons and a daughter. One son, Dr. John L. Feldman (ISU ′74), is a mixed animal practitioner in Jewell, Iowa. Dr. Feldman's granddaughter, Dr. BreAnne C. Feldman (ISU ′08), is a veterinarian in Chicago. Memorials may be made to Bethany Manor, 212 Lafayette St., Story City, IA 50248.
Jon R. Fistler
Dr. Fistler (MIN ′90). 51, Fort Frances, Ontario, died Jan. 19, 2012. A large animal veterinarian, he practiced at Hillcrest Animal Clinic in Dryden, Ont., since 2011. Dr. Fistler was also an accredited inspector with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and a member of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario. Earlier in his career, he practiced equine and mixed animal medicine in Minnesota, was employed by dairy practices in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and worked with large beef herds. Dr. Fistler served as a field medical assistant with the Army during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He is survived by his life partner, Beth Caldwell; two daughters; a son; and a stepson. Memorials may be made to the Dr. Jon Fistler Memorial Fund, c/o U.S. Bank, Cloquet Branch, 705 Cloquet Ave., Cloquet, MN 55720.
Harold W. Gehrig
Dr. Gehrig (IL ′63), 73, Greenville, Ill., died Feb. 4, 2012. Prior to retirement in 2007, he practiced mixed animal medicine at what is now known as the Greenville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Gehrig also served as veterinarian for the Greenville Livestock Sale Barn for several years. He was a life member of the Illinois State VMA. Active in civic life, Dr. Gehrig was also a member of the Bond County Farm Bureau and served on the board of Bond County Soil and Water Conservation District. He is survived by his wife, Linda; a son; and two daughters. Memorials may be made to Greenville First Christian Church, 1100 Killarney Drive, Greenville, IL 62246; Good News Productions International, P.O. Box 222, Joplin, MO 64802; or Hospice of Bond County Inc., 503 S. Prairie St., Greenville, IL 62246.
Jerry A. Hergott
Dr. Hergott (ONT ′49), 86, Key Colony Beach, Fla., died Feb. 22, 2012. He owned Ann Arbor Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Ann Arbor, Mich., for 30 years. Earlier in his career, Dr. Hergott practiced in Dearborn, Mich., for 10 years. He was known for his expertise in orthopedics for small animals and developed a 24-hour emergency clinic in Washtenaw County. Dr. Hergott was a past president of the Southeastern Michigan VMA and Washtenaw Academy of Veterinary Medicine and served on the board of the Michigan VMA. He was a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran of World War II, attaining the rank of flight lieutenant. Dr. Hergott's wife, Nancy; six daughters; three sons; and a stepdaughter survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Louis Center, 16195 Old U.S. 12, Chelsea, MI 48118; or Arbor Hospice, 2366 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
David W. Kenney
Dr. Kenney (CAL ′62), 77, Montrose, Colo., died Feb. 14, 2012. From 1997 until retirement in 2005, he practiced part time in Colorado, focusing on wild animal and exotic animal medicine. Following graduation, Dr. Kenney established a mixed animal practice in San Diego. In 1964, he joined Sea World in San Diego, serving as its first veterinarian. Dr. Kenney left Sea World in 1972 and continued to practice in the San Diego area until moving to Colorado in 1997. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Connie L. Stapleton (COL ′77), who owns Ridgway Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Ridgway, Colo.; four sons; and a daughter.
Francis D. Knippling
Dr. Knippling (MSU ′50), 95, Ingram, Texas, died Oct. 13, 2011. During his career, he worked in the research department of Merck Pharmaceuticals; practiced mixed animal medicine in Minnesota at Milaca and Princeton; and served as a meat inspector for the United States Department of Agriculture in Austin, Minn., and Deming, N.M. Dr. Knippling later taught parasitology at Tuskegee University; served as a quarantine inspector in Hawaii; and owned a cattle ranch in Arizona. He is survived by two daughters and a son.
William D. Krause
Dr. Krause (COL ′61), 74, Pueblo, Colo., died Jan. 20, 2012. Prior to retirement in 1994, he owned Pueblo Small Animal Clinic. Dr. Krause was a past president of the Colorado VMA and a member of the South Central Colorado VMS. In 1986, he received the CSU Jerry Litton Memorial Award for his work in agriculture. Dr. Krause was named Veterinarian of the Year in 1995 and was the recipient of the 2006 Whisker Ball Tribute for service to the Pueblo Community Animal Shelter. He was active with the Rotary Club and the Colorado State University Alumni Association. Dr. Krause served in the Army and the Army Veterinary Corps. His wife, Judith; three sons; and a daughter survive him. Memorials toward Pueblo Animal Services or the First Presbyterian Church Building Fund may be made c/o Montgomery & Steward, 1317 N. Main, Pueblo, CO 81003.
Matthew B. Maberry
Dr. Maberry (WSU ′47), 94, Beaverton, Ore., died Jan. 26, 2012. He owned Wildlife Enterprises, a mixed animal practice in Beaverton, since 1974. Dr. Maberry also took care of the harbor seals at the Seaside Aquarium in Seaside, Ore. Following graduation, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Oregon and Washington state for five years. Dr. Maberry then served as a veterinarian for the United States Public Health Service in Atlanta. In 1954, he moved to Portland, Ore., where he founded the Tetra Chemical company and owned Broadway Animal Clinic.
Dr. Maberry joined what is now known as the Oregon Zoo as its first full-time veterinarian in 1958, helping to establish an elephant breeding program and new facilities that would allow the elephants more freedom. He also established a continuing education program on animals for teachers in the Portland area. In 1962, Dr. Maberry became known for his delivery of Packy, the first elephant to be born in North America in 44 years. He and his wife, Patricia, later chronicled the event in the book “Packy and Me.” In 2008, the Oregon VMA conferred on Dr. Maberry the Veterinary Service Award. Recently he was awarded lifetime achievement honors by Washington State University and the Metro Council. Dr. Maberry's wife; a son; and a daughter survive him.
Richard H. McFarlin
Dr. McFarlin (MSU ′64), 75, St. Johnsbury Center, Vt., died Oct. 7, 2011.
Dr. Moore (AUB ′55), 83, Auburn, Ala., died Dec. 14, 2011. Prior to retirement in 1998, he was a professor and director of the laboratory animal health program at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Earlier in his career, Dr. Moore worked for the United States Public Health Service for 22 years. During that time, he participated in the atomic testing program. Dr. Moore served in the Army Reserve for five years. His wife, Mary; three sons; a daughter; and two stepchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Alabama Baptist Children's Home and Family Ministries, P.O. Box 361767, Birmingham, AL 35236; or Parkway Baptist Church, 766 E. University Drive, Auburn, AL 36830.
Allan C. Pier
Dr. Pier (CAL ′53), 84, Laramie, Wyo., died Jan. 25, 2012. He retired as professor emeritus from the University of Wyoming in 1993. Following graduation, Dr. Pier practiced in Humboldt County, Calif. After obtaining his doctorate in microbiology and bacteriology from the University of California-Davis in 1961, he joined the United States Department of Agriculture's National Animal Disease Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, serving as chair of the bacteriology department. During that time, Dr. Pier conducted research on zoonotic diseases and collaborated with Iowa State University, where he taught graduate classes in microbiology and bacteriology. In 1984, he was named head of the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Wyoming. While there, Dr. Pier oversaw the expansion of the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, eventually becoming its director. Known for his expertise in medical mycology and fungal diseases of animals, he served on a World Health Organization panel of specialists in medical mycology in 1987 and represented the United States at a conference of the WHO and International Society for Human and Animal Mycology in Oslo, Norway.
Dr. Pier was a diplomate emeritus and a past chair of the board of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1946–1948. Dr. Pier is survived by two sons; a daughter; three stepdaughters; and one stepson. Memorials in his name toward the Wyoming Game and Fish's fishing access program may be made to ACCESS YES, Attn: Matt Buhler, Wyoming Game and Fish, Access Yes, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604.
Beth A. Plodzik
Dr. Plodzik (OSU ′94), 45, Goffstown, N.H., died Dec. 7, 2011. A small animal practitioner, she most recently worked for Petco and LuvMyPet. Memorials in her name may be made to Animal Allies, P.O. Box 693, Manchester, NH 03105; or Manchester Animal Shelter, 490 Dunbarton Road, Manchester, NH 03105.
Max G. Pool
Dr. Pool (ISU ′50), 95, Tucson, Ariz., died Oct. 28, 2011. Prior to retirement, he served as an area veterinarian for the state of Iowa. Before that, Dr. Pool owned a large animal practice in Mount Ayr, Iowa, for more than 20 years. Early in his career, he worked in York, Neb. Dr. Pool was an Army veteran of World War II. His three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA 50011.
Hannis L. Stoddard Jr.
Dr. Stoddard (TEX ′47), 88, Cross City, Fla., died Feb. 10, 2012. A mixed animal veterinarian, he had co-owned a practice in Cross City with his wife, Dr. Linda G. Stoddard (MIN 70), since 1984. Following graduation, Dr. Stoddard practiced briefly in Clarksdale, Miss. He then moved to Laramie, Wyo., where he initially worked in the state veterinary diagnostic laboratory, later going into practice there. In 1956, Dr. Stoddard earned a master's in parasitology and pathology from Texas A&M University. He subsequently joined the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, serving over the years as an animal health officer in Paraguay, as director of the International Campaign against Rinderpest in Cambodia, and as regional animal production and health officer for Latin America in Chile.
In 1967, Dr. Stoddard became professor of international veterinary medicine and vice president of international programs at the University of Minnesota. At the same time, he worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development as an assistant to the First Special Forces in South Vietnam on rinderpest eradication. In 1972, Dr. Stoddard briefly worked for an international agribusiness firm in Miami, planning agriculture projects in Central America and South America, Africa, and the Middle East. He and his wife established their practice in Branford, Fla., in 1976, shifting the practice to Cross City in 1984. At that time, Dr. Stoddard began focusing on aquaculture, eventually serving as president of the Florida Aquaculture Association. He also worked with community leaders and government officials to help develop the shellfish industry on the Gulf Coast.
Dr. Stoddard was a member of the Florida VMA, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. He served in the Navy during World War II. Active in civic life, Dr. Stoddard volunteered with Guardian Ad Litem, Rotary International, and Sheriffs Youth Ranches. He is survived by his wife; six sons; and a daughter. One son, Dr. Hannis L. Stoddard III (MIN ′74), owns Animal and Bird Veterinary Medical Center in Norco, Calif. Memorials may be made to Haven Hospice, 311 N.E. 9th St., Chiefland, FL 32626; Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, 2486 Cecil Webb Place, Live Oak, FL 32060; or First United Methodist Church, 22 N.E. 138th St., Cross City, FL 32628.
Cornelius D. Van Houweling
Dr. Van Houweling (ISU ′42), 93, Ames, Iowa, died Feb. 23, 2012. He served as director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine in Washington, D.C., retiring from federal service in 1978. Dr. Van Houweling then became the first governmental liaison for what is now known as the National Pork Producers Council. Following graduation, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Springfield, Ill. Dr. Van Houweling then served in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II. He went on to work briefly as an instructor at the University of Illinois before being named assistant director of regulatory programs at what became the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Washington, D.C. In 1961, Dr. Van Houweling became assistant director of regulatory laboratories at the USDA National Animal Disease Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. He earned a master's in veterinary microbiology at Iowa State University in 1966, moving to Washington, D.C., as director of the FDACVM in 1967.
Dr. Van Houweling was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and served as assistant executive secretary of the AVMA from 1950–1953. He also held leadership positions at the Illinois Farm Bureau. In 1978, Dr. Van Houweling was the recipient of both the Karl F. Meyer–James H. Steele Gold Headed Cane Award and the ISU Stange Award. The Van Houweling Research Laboratory, part of the Silliman University Medical Center in the Philippines, was named for him. Dr. Van Houweling is survived by his wife, Roberta; four sons; and a daughter. His son-in-law, Dr. H. Scott Hurd (ISU ′82), is an associate professor at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine.
George E. Wallner
Dr. Wallner (BUD ′51), 86, State College, Pa., died Dec. 12, 2011. A graduate of the University of Veterinary Science in Budapest, Hungary, he owned Animal Clinic of Rutherford, a small animal practice in Rutherford, N.J., prior to retirement. Dr. Wallner was a member of the New Jersey VMA and Rutherford Lions Club. He is survived by two daughters. One daughter, Dr. Eva Wallner-Pendleton (BUD ′79), is an avian diagnostic veterinarian at the Pennsylvania State University Animal Diagnostic Laboratory. Memorials may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, P.O. Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090.