The CDC for wildlife

National center at forefront of wildlife disease research

By R. Scott Nolen


Veterinary pathologist Dr. Dan Schenkman necropsies a Canada goose with assistance from Stephanie Steinfeldt in one of the National Wildlife Health Center's biosafety level 3 laboratories. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

The buzzer in the biosafety level 3 laboratory announces the latest arrival of animal carcasses at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center. Dr. Dan Schenkman, one of the center's veterinary pathologists, necropsies a Canada goose suspected of succumbing to botulism. Elsewhere in the laboratory, a technician swabs the mouths of three mallards to test for avian influenza virus before bagging, tagging, and arraying the birds along a stainless steel table.

For more than three decades, wildlife personnel from around the country have relied on the center's scientists to investigate wild animal deaths likely attributable to infectious diseases or environmental toxins. This USGS scientific program is at the forefront of wildlife health research and the de facto Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for free-ranging North American fauna.

Along with conducting animal disease surveillance and assessing disease impacts on wildlife populations, the National Wildlife Health Center provides domestic and international conservation agencies with training and guidance for reducing animal losses during an outbreak. “We have a very unique mission and that is to safeguard wildlife and ecosystem health,” said Dr. Jonathan Sleeman, director of the center since 2009.

Established in 1975 partly in response to an earlier outbreak of duck plague that killed more than 40,000 mallards in South Dakota, the NWHC is the first federal program dedicated to wildlife health research on a national level. The center's main campus is tucked away off a small, tree-lined road in Madison, Wis., where some 1,200 animal carcasses and tissue samples are examined each year.

Over the years, NWHC researchers have shed light on scores of infectious animal pathogens, often with little fanfare. Most recently, the center characterized Geomyces destructans, the novel fungus behind the epizootic of white-nose syndrome killing millions of hibernating bats in eastern North America, in 2009.

Other noteworthy achievements include the 1991 federal ban on the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting—a result of an NWHC investigation of waterfowl deaths. More than 100,000 bird samples were tested there for the avian influenza virus H5N1 strain from 2006–2010. Pioneering research at the center's field station in Honolulu has yielded greater insights into coral reef health and disease.


Vector-borne disease researcher Dr. Erik Hofmeister says several questions about West Nile virus remain unanswered, such as factors contributing to the high number of human infections over the summer that took public health officials by surprise. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Additionally, field tests are currently under way for a new vaccine created by NWHC scientists to protect prairie dogs, the main prey for black-footed ferrets, against sylvatic plague. The recovery of the black-footed ferret, considered the most endangered mammal species in North America, is hampered by plague outbreaks that decimate prairie dog populations.

Prior to his appointment as center director, Dr. Sleeman was the Virginia state wildlife veterinarian and had previously spent two years as head of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project in Africa. He says that during the early days of the center, scientists worked mostly with pathogens affecting only wildlife populations. That is no longer the case. Beginning with the West Nile epidemic in 1999, U.S. public health officials were confronted by three exotic zoonotic diseases within five years, the others being monkeypox and severe acute respiratory syndrome. And by the mid-2000s, the United States was among a host of countries preparing for a possible H5N1 avian flu pandemic.

Whereas 70 percent of new and emerging infectious diseases are of animal origin, Dr. Sleeman points out that most are found in wildlife. He believes a positive outcome of recent wildlife disease events is growing support for the idea that wildlife, ecosystem, and public well-being are interrelated. “There's increasing recognition of the importance of healthy wildlife and healthy ecosystems to healthy humans. It's part of the one-health concept,” Dr. Sleeman said.


Chronic wasting disease, Bryan Richards explains, is difficult to manage, because free-ranging cervids can be infected and capable of spreading the disease for nearly a year before having clinical signs of the neurodegenerative illness. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

While the Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have protected and advanced the health of the country's domestic animals and public for decades, few saw a need to do the same for wildlife. But in the aftermath of the 1973 outbreak of exotic duck viral enteritis in South Dakota's Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge that killed more than 40 percent of the refuge's mallards, it was clear that attitude had to change.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service called on Milt Friend, PhD, at the time the chief of pesticide and wildlife ecology investigations at the FWS Denver Wildlife Research Center. A year before the duck plague epizootic, Dr. Friend had written a proposal for a national wildlife health program. In January 1975, he and two colleagues launched the National Fish and Wildlife Health Laboratory on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. A short time later, Dr. Friend was named center director, a position he held for 23 years. The name of the program has since changed, and oversight of the facility was transferred to the U.S. Geological Survey in 1996.

Currently, Dr. Friend volunteers at the National Wildlife Health Center and works as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, where he teaches animal health and biomedical sciences. Given the heightened concerns about bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases, Dr. Friend believes the center is more relevant now than ever. “Initially, we were a migratory bird laboratory. Now, we're a broad-reaching wildlife disease laboratory and research center,” he said.

Dr. Friend says historically, agencies have lacked the resources and manpower to effectively monitor and manage diseases in free-ranging animals on their own. What distinguishes the National Wildlife Health Center within the wildlife conservation community is its large size, number of specialists, geographic scope of activities, and network of national and international collaborators, he explained. The center has an annual budget ranging from $10 million to $12 million and a 90-member staff with 10 veterinarians, making it the leading employer of wildlife veterinarians.

“This is the most comprehensive facility that currently exists with the specific purpose of addressing wildlife health issues for the benefit of free-ranging wildlife populations and society in general,” Dr. Friend said.


LeAnn White, PhD, part of the National Wildlife Health Center field investigations team, measures the tarsus of a double-crested cormorant in Minnesota this past July. (Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

“Throughout the history of the center, it has been at the forefront of identifying previously unreported diseases of North American wildlife. We've seen things nobody knew were out there. That early detection has fostered an array of actions that have helped suppress those diseases from spreading unabated.

“When you talk about wildlife in this country, it's a tragedy of the commons,” Dr. Friend said, employing an economics term describing the depletion of a shared resource by individuals each acting in their own self-interest, despite the knowledge that doing so is contrary to their own best interests in the long run.

“There is no real economic incentive to proactively deal with wildlife disease. It gets dealt with during a crisis because of public pressure, but ultimately, there is no highly integrated infrastructure for dealing with disease, period.”

The recent spike in West Nile viral infections underscores Dr. Friend's point. Government agencies instituted surveillance programs when the exotic arbovirus was first identified in New York City and began spreading across the country. But within a few years, as the number of human cases declined, vigilance against the disease waned. Then this summer, the CDC announced an unexpected surge of West Nile virus–related illnesses and deaths. By early October, more than 4,500 cases had been reported to the agency, including 183 fatalities.

Dr. Erik Hofmeister has studied West Nile virus for the past eight years as a veterinary medical officer with the National Wildlife Health Center. Although the virus has been active in the United States for more than a decade, he says much remains unknown about its pathology and epidemiology. Scientists are uncertain why, for example, West Nile disease is so deadly in corvids and raptors but not in chickens and other gallinaceous bird species.

On account of the virus's lethality in avian species, West Nile virus surveillance is a core function of the National Wildlife Health Center's field station in Hawaii. To date, the virus has not reached the island state, home to several rare bird species. Wildlife ecologists predict that such an event would have a catastrophic effect on Hawaii's wild avian population.


The National Wildlife Health Center is currently field testing an oral vaccine to protect prairie dogs, the main prey of the endangered black-footed ferret (above), from sylvatic plague. (Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Of the many vector-borne diseases Dr. Hofmeister has researched, West Nile is among the most fascinating. A new strain of the virus emerged in New York City between 2002 and 2003. This novel viral strain, he explained, was similar to the original in most ways, but one difference was significant. “What changed is the virus could more rapidly develop in mosquitoes. It became better adapted to our mosquitoes on this continent,” Dr. Hofmeister said. Soon enough, the new strain had entirely replaced the original West Nile virus strain flaring up nationwide.

Dr. Hofmeister believes no one could have foreseen the high number of West Nile cases this past summer, the result of a confluence of warm weather and changes in the ecosystem, among other possible factors. “Part of it may involve climate; part of it certainly might be the population of birds that became immune to West Nile has died off and new birds are hatched that are totally susceptible to the virus,” he reasoned. Studies show birds do develop West Nile virus antibodies that they pass along to offspring. These antibodies are shortlived, however, lasting as little as seven days in wild birds, providing no long-term immunity.

Despite this year's reminder that West Nile virus remains a threat, Dr. Hofmeister isn't optimistic about the chances of renewed vigilance against the disease agent. “I don't think we'll ever get back to where we were in the mid-2000s when the majority of states were doing either mosquito or bird surveillance,” he stated. “I certainly hope this past summer does rekindle surveillance efforts that might allow for greater awareness of West Nile virus activity.”

National Wildlife Health Center activities aren't limited to zoonotic diseases. “We believe maintaining healthy wildlife populations is necessary for ecosystem integrity,” Dr. Sleeman explained. For example, researchers there have spent years studying chronic wasting disease, a fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy infecting North American deer, elk, and moose. First identified at a Colorado research facility in 1967, the disease has since been documented in free-ranging and captive cervid populations in 15 states and two Canadian provinces.

Bryan Richards is the wildlife center's chronic wasting disease project manager and has also spent the past year as acting chief of the disease investigation branch. Richardsjoined the center about two years after the disease was detected in free-ranging Wisconsin deer in 2002. Consensus within the scientific community is that an infectious prion causes chronic wasting disease, which is transmitted primarily through cervid feces and saliva.

CWD is especially challenging to manage as a disease, according to Richards. Its mean incubation period is 18 to 24 months, and infected deer can shed infectious prions for nearly a year before the onset of clinical illness. “You've got an animal out there that's really more or less a Typhoid Mary, spreading disease without showing signs of illness,” he said. Complicating matters further is the ability of the prion that causes CWD to persist for years in the environment. Richards cited the ongoing research of Christopher Johnson, PhD, a research biologist with the center who's discovered that when these proteins bind to certain soil particles, their infectivity increases by up to 700 percent.

Most states conduct some level of chronic wasting disease surveillance, but wildlife experts say the disease is nearly impossible to control once it emerges, necessitating such preventive measures as banning imports of live cervids. The chances of a person or domestic animal contracting CWD are “extremely remote,” Richards said. The possibility can't be ruled out, however. “One could look at it like a game of chance,” he explained. “The odds (of infection) increase over time because of repeated exposure. That's one of the downsides of having CWD in free-ranging herds: We've got this infectious agent out there that we can never say never to in terms of (infecting) people and domestic livestock.”

Other wildlife species might also be at risk of CWD. The carcasses of infected deer, elk, and moose are eaten by any number of animals, including rodents, which Richards says have been experimentally infected with the disease. “Rodents serve as the basis for food webs, and almost every animal's eaten something that's eaten a vole,” he said.

Chronic wasting disease also exacts a sociological cost. Richards noted studies suggest hunters and their families will begin considering changing their behaviors once the prevalence of CWD in a region gets to 30 to 40 percent. “Even though science suggests the likelihood of disease transmission to humans is low, if you're hunting in an area that has high prevalence, maybe you're going to go hunting somewhere else, so there's definitely a stigma associated with high CWD prevalence,” he said.


It's unusual that a skin fungus can kill an animal, says Dr. Anne Ballmann, who is studying the pathology of Geomyces destructans, the novel fungus behind the white-nose syndrome epizootic killing millions of North American bats. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dr. Sleeman, the National Wildlife Health Center director, finds few emerging animal diseases as worrisome as white-nose syndrome. Since the fungus's discovery in hibernating bats in caves in eastern New York in 2006, it has spread to 19 states and four Canadian provinces, killing an estimated 5 million bats. “It's events like that that really concern me,” Dr. Sleeman said. “We get these devastating diseases that basically wipe out populations, that can either lead to extinction or a situation where they're unlikely to recover to former numbers.”


“We have good earth-monitoring systems, good climate-monitoring systems, good public health disease–monitoring systems, but we don't have that same proactive systematic collection of data for wildlife health,” Dr. Jonathan Sleeman said. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dr. Anne Ballmann joined the center in 2008 and within a few months was part of a field investigation team tackling white-nose syndrome. Not only was the outbreak an unprecedented disease event in bats, but also, the pathogen itself is unusual.

“It's very rare that a skin fungus can actually cause mortality in any animal. It'd be like athlete's foot killing you, which is just bizarre,” Dr. Ballmann said. She helped write the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national strategy to manage the disease and currently leads a government working group writing a plan coordinating diagnostic laboratories and testing standards for white-nose syndrome.

Several hypotheses concerning how white-nose syndrome causes bat deaths are being tested at the moment, according to Dr. Ballmann. The fungus appears to capitalize on qualities unique to bat species that hibernate in caves, which account for about half of the 47 North American bat species. The membrane of a bat's wings regulate the animal's body temperature and play a part in water balance. A healthy bat wakes from its torpor approximately every 14 days to groom and drink. It is believed that white-nose fungus disrupts this process, causing infected bats to exhaust their limited fat reserves by waking more frequently. Another school of thought is that the fungus kills the bat by depleting its electrolytes in a way similar to the deadly chytrid fungus in amphibians. Still another theory is that white-nose fungus damages the bat's wings, hindering its ability to hunt and causing the animal to starve.

“There's a lot to learn,” Dr. Ballmann acknowledged. “Probably, multiple factors are at play in causing bat mortality.” In addition to identifying G destructans as the causative agent of white-nose syndrome, research at the National Wildlife Health Center has demonstrated that the fungus can persist in the environment. “If a site is infected, even if bats aren't present, the fungus is still there and can be picked up by any naive bat, although we don't yet know how long the fungus remains,” she said.

As Dr. Sleeman sees it, the emergence of white-nose fungus and the spike in West Nile disease caught the nation unawares and are indicative of a fundamental problem in the way the nation deals with wildlife diseases. “We have good earth-monitoring systems, good climate-monitoring systems, good public health disease–monitoring systems, but we don't have that same proactive systematic collection of data for wildlife health. Until we do that, it's going to be very hard to get a handle on what's driving these diseases,” he observed.

As a remedy to this problem, the center presented its government partners earlier this year with a draft proposal for a collaborative approach addressing North American wildlife health issues. The strategy includes creating a comprehensive framework comprising a broad range of agencies and experts to mitigate the impacts of wildlife diseases and other stressors on wildlife, domestic animal, and human health.

Dr. Sleeman would ultimately like to evolve beyond monitoring and managing programs and into predictive modeling, for him the holy grail in wildlife disease work. With enough data to understand the environmental drivers behind these diseases, it may be possible to anticipate these events and even prevent them from occurring. “With the state of knowledge we have now, that's not possible,” he said. “Until we have a long-term, comprehensive monitoring system that can then be combined with other data sets, only then will we develop those models to start to predict emerging disease.”

Educational epidemiologist hired by AVMA

Raghavan brings international education, research experience

By Malinda Larkin

Dr. Malathi Raghavan is the newest assistant director in the AVMA Education and Research Division. Starting Oct. 22, she will provide staff support to the AVMA Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates and, secondarily, help with the AVMA Council on Education.


Dr. Malathi Raghavan (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dr. Raghavan formerly worked as academic lead for evaluation at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine. There, she pursued her interest in “educational epidemiology.” She also held a part-time faculty position in the university's Department of Community Health Sciences.

Born and raised in India, Dr. Raghavan earned her veterinary degree from Ukrainian National Agricultural University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Kiev in 1993. She then came to the U.S. and earned a master's in environmental conservation from the University of New Hampshire in 1997 and a doctorate in comparative epidemiology from Purdue University in 2002.

She began her academic career as a veterinary epidemiologist at Purdue. Over the next four years, her work included reporting on the prevalence of zoonotic agents in companion animals and elucidating risk factors in dogs for bloat and bladder cancer. Later on, she quantified dog bite–related fatalities and injuries in people.

Dr. Raghavan immigrated to Canada in 2006 with her family. She accepted a research associate position in the dean's office at the University of Manitoba's medical school. Her areas of research included clinician-scientist issues and medical education.

“It was not something I had been planning in my career. I wanted to be in academia to pursue research and to teach. Yet, the idea of doing research on education was not specifically on my mind, but when the opportunity opened up, I realized I was interested in it,” Dr. Raghavan said.

Around that time, she came across a paper that defined what she was doing: “Educational epidemiology: applying population-based design and analytic approaches to study medical education” (JAMA 2004;292(9):1044–1050).

With her quantitative skills, she helped Manitoba medical school leaders make evidence-based decisions. In 2010, when the medical school was preparing for its upcoming accreditation, Dr. Raghavan became responsible for the graduate outcomes assessment portion of the institution's self-study.

“In medicine, attributing graduates' longer-term, future outcomes to their MD curriculum and educational experience is a little more challenging as a good number of graduates complete residency training elsewhere,” she said.

Dr. Raghavan continued, “It's real-world data. You can't run experiments when you're offering an MD or DVM program. Within your program, you typically offer the same curriculum and use the same educational methods. Still, there are lots of confounding variables, and each school's cohort is different in makeup. And then there are differences across the years—both generational and, sometimes, curricular. Plenty of real-world differences going on. But you still have to collect data and make comparisons and assess whether the school is accomplishing all that it hopes to accomplish by training medical graduates.”

Manitoba earned reaccreditation that year.

Dr. Raghavan says her new position with the AVMA fits in perfectly with her experience not only in educational epidemiology but also as a foreign veterinary graduate. Even though she herself has not gone through the ECFVG program, she understands participants' perspective. She also looks forward to working with the education council.

“I think the position is a perfect opportunity for me to work on two things close to my heart—research and education,” Dr. Raghavan said.

Sesquicentennial summit to feature veterinary students

Veterinary students have a unique opportunity to vie for a chance at not only winning scholarship money but also being a featured speaker during a one-day symposium at next year's AVMA Annual Convention.

The AVMA is inviting veterinary students to participate in its 150th Anniversary Campaign next year by submitting an entry to its 150th Anniversary Education Symposium student scholarship opportunity.

Eight winners will be selected to speak at the “Understanding Our Past to Transform Our Future” symposium, which will be held during the 2013 convention next July in Chicago. The 150th anniversary campaign is funding registration, housing, and travel expenses for the winning entrants.

The AVMA had initially planned holding a one-day symposium featuring a panel of distinguished veterinarians presenting the most important accomplishments in their fields. Ultimately, however, it was decided that the symposium should consist of students presenting their research on the profession's historical roots and successes. Organizers agreed that this would allow attendees to hear the vision for the future from the next generation of veterinarians.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is providing a $2,500 scholarship award for each winner.

These scholarships will support veterinary students seeking to enrich their professional development, become more engaged in the evolution of the veterinary profession, and uncover new career opportunities and possibilities.

Michael Cathey, AVMF executive director, said, “It's also a special way for us to celebrate AVMA's anniversary and our own 50th anniversary. This effort falls under our initiatives of not only student enhancement but also supporting the AVMA and its initiatives. Overall, it's a nice joint celebration of both our anniversaries and a way for all of us to learn more about the historical component of our profession.”

Submitting an entry for the contest is a two-part process. First, veterinary students must make known their intent to participate in the scholarship opportunity. They can email the AVMA at StudentSummit@avma.org with the following information: name, area of interest (outlined in the contest documents), and a paragraph of 300 words or less that expresses the student's commitment to, and enthusiasm for, participating in this opportunity.

These initial proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. CST on Dec. 31, 2012.

Then, participants must select, research, and report on one of the following areas of interest, giving a past, present, and future perspective: companion animal, equine, food animal, industry, academia, public practice, wildlife and ecosystem health, or global food security.

As part of their research, students need to interview a minimum of two established leaders in their area of interest. Their final submission can include a compilation of interviews—written or recorded—and be submitted as a written proposal or a video.

Students may choose to work in groups, but only one member from each finalist's submission will receive an expense-paid trip to the convention, and only one educational scholarship will be awarded per finalist.

Final submissions will be due by March 15, 2013, with anticipation of selections being made by May 15.

AVMA seeks nominations to Executive Board

AVMA voting members in districts III and V have the opportunity to nominate representatives to the Executive Board.

Drs. Joseph H. Kinnarney, District III representative, and Janver D. Krehbiel, District V representative, will complete their six-year terms in July 2013. The Association is sending a letter to each AVMA voting member in districts III and V to invite nominations for representatives to serve on the board for the next six-year term.

District III comprises Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. District V comprises Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.

The Association will accept nominations for district representatives from a state VMA in the district or by petition of at least 50 AVMA voting members in the district.

District residents are eligible to run for the board if they have been AVMA voting members for at least the preceding five years. Nominations must include the complete nomination form, a letter from the candidate indicating a willingness to serve, a biographical summary, and a brief statement of the candidate's reasons for seeking office.

Feb. 1, 2013, is the deadline for receipt of nominations for district representatives. If a district has more than one nominee, the Association will mail a ballot to all AVMA voting members in the district.

Issues: Border showdown

USDA officials, federal veterinarians working to resolve safety concerns

By Malinda Larkin

Conversations continue at the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service between executive management and the veterinarians and technicians who inspect cattle along the U.S.-Mexican border (see JAVMA, July 15, 2012, page 165).

At issue is whether conditions are safe enough in the area of a new inspection facility completed this fall near Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. APHIS officials maintain they are, but some veterinarians feel otherwise.

“This is the first time that APHIS wants employees to go back into Mexico to inspect imported cattle in an area that employees feel is unsafe,” said Dr. Michael Gilsdorf, executive vice president of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians, which represents the approximately 3,200 federally employed veterinarians.

Different perspectives

About 1.6 million cattle were imported from Mexico into the U.S. in fiscal year 2012. They are inspected for diseases and pests, primarily fever tick infestation, foot-and-mouth disease, and tuberculosis, before they are released into domestic feedlots and other facilities for eventual slaughter. The inspections are performed by veterinary medical officers and trained livestock inspectors—both employed by Veterinary Services of APHIS—at 13 border stations from Texas to California.

Most of these inspections take place in facilities and cattle pens in Mexico near the U.S. border. This is to prevent cattle from entering the U.S. before they've been inspected. Over the past few years, all the cattle pens or facilities on the Mexican side of the border with Texas have been closed permanently or for substantial periods because of drug violence.

Starting several years ago, temporary inspection facilities were built on the U.S. side of the border—five total, all in Texas—to safeguard the safety of inspectors while still ensuring that potentially diseased cattle could not enter the general population.

Also during this time, the Regional Cattlemen's Union of Nuevo Leon began constructing an inspection facility near Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas.

APHIS spokeswoman Lyndsay M. Cole said it was built specifically with the safety of Veterinary Services employees in mind.

“We had direct input into the design of the facility and provided specific requirements that had to be met,” she said. “We continually monitor the situation at all of our livestock inspection facilities. Security assessments are part of routine operations at these facilities, and we make decisions on our activities accordingly.”

On Aug. 29, Veterinary Services notified its employees that the new facility near Nuevo Laredo was tentatively scheduled to open for inspections on Sept. 7 pending the completion of security assessments, the training of Veterinary Services employees, and an evaluation of results of efforts to test the capabilities of the facility.

Officials with APHIS, in conjunction with the State Department, conducted a complete security assessment and found the facility to be low-risk.

“In the past few years, one of the USDA APHIS VS inspectors was stopped at gunpoint while driving to conduct an inspection at another Mexican facility. He was questioned and later released by drug cartel members. This and other local information these veterinarians hear cause them concern. They are also concerned that this new facility is only a quarter mile from the main highway that drug cartels use,” Dr. Gilsdorf said.

Veterinary Services officials, at a meeting with NAFV representatives in June, said the new facility has reinforced concrete walls, an automatic weapons emplacement, a secure room with a steel door, and Mexican military.

Additionally, officials told the NAFV the agency had a concern that potentially infected cattle should not be allowed across the border to inspection facilities in the U.S.

Dr. Gilsdorf said he agreed that bringing potentially infected cattle into the U.S. is certainly a concern but added, “At the other ports on the U.S. side of the border, cattle have been coming in under seal and go(ing) directly to the facility for many years without any disease control issues. If veterinarians find any problems, they're dipped, loaded, and shipped directly back to Mexico and do not enter the U.S., because they haven't been officially released.”

Monitoring the situation

APHIS supervisory officials had a mandatory meeting for a group of Texas-based Veterinary Services employees Sept. 13 in Laredo to talk about the situation. At least four veterinarians later agreed to look at the facility that day, and they also inspected a limited number of cattle to test the capabilities of the facility. Representatives from the State Department also attended the meeting.

Dr. Gilsdorf said he heard from some of the veterinarians who attended that they remain unconvinced inspections in Mexico are necessary and did not feel comfortable about working in that area.

“One reason they didn't feel comfortable was because the facility itself was supposed to have been locked down tight with all gates closed, but all the gates were open. They were also supposed to have some sort of guard station close by, but they weren't impressed because when they got there, the guard was asleep,” he said.


Starting in 2010, U.S. veterinarians performed cattle inspections at Mexican stockyards. However, drug violence along the border forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to open five temporary facilities in Texas—at Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo, Pharr, and Presidio. A newly built inspection facility in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has yet to be staffed. (Source: USDA APHIS VS)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

In mid-October, Dr. Gilsdorf had conversations about those concerns with a USDA official and was told that the facility was still not completed at that time. The official also restated that the agency would not send employees into an area that is considered dangerous by the State Department.

As of mid-November, the two sides remained in talks. The veterinarians maintain they can continue evaluating cattle on the U.S. side without threatening public health and stay safe in the process. Meanwhile, administrators are evaluating conditions in Mexico with the help of the State Department, and they hoped to determine soon if or when veterinarians would be able to resume inspections on the Mexican side of the border.

Dr. John Clifford, USDA chief veterinary officer, said, “APHIS will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of its employees. Ensuring their safety and security is our main goal. We value the input our employees have provided, and we will continue to work closely with them as we determine our next steps.”

Issues: No ruling coming in compounding dispute

A Florida pharmacy and federal drug authorities have fought for 2 1/2 years over the legality of compounding animal drugs from bulk pharmaceutical ingredients. Now, it appears the dispute has ended, but without a final decision.

In October, an appellate court delivered orders that not only ended a pending appeal without ruling on the legality of the practice but also vacated the prior ruling of the district court judge.

The Food and Drug Administration had, since April 2010, sought a court order to prohibit Franck's Lab Inc. and company founder, president, and CEO Paul W. Franck from compounding animal drugs from bulk ingredients rather than approved finished drugs. The agency accused Franck and his company of manufacturing unapproved drugs under the guise of compounding.

The district court judge in that case ruled in September 2011 that the FDA had overreached in interpreting its authority and erred in construing federal laws to allow the agency to “eradicate the line between manufacturing and traditional compounding of animal medications.” The FDA had appealed the decision.

Franck sold his compounding business assets to Wells Pharmacy Network July 5. He and the U.S. government jointly filed on Oct. 16 a motion that urged the court to dismiss the appeal as moot and vacate the previous ruling.

“Franck's Compounding Pharmacy has turned in the permits required by Florida law to operate as a compounding pharmacy, sold all its assets, and terminated all its employees,” the motion states. “In these circumstances, Franck's Lab, Inc., cannot ‘reasonably be expected’ to engage in the compounding that the government seeks to restrain.”

Franck said in a court declaration that financial strain from the ongoing litigation was a reason he sold much of his business, and it was the only specific reason listed.

“I no longer own or operate any company or business engaged in compounding animal medications from bulk ingredients,” his declaration states.

Wells compounds drugs for human and veterinary medicine, and it bought many of the assets owned by Franck's Lab, Franck's Healthy Lifestyles, and Paul Franck, including pharmaceutical inventory, prescription files and records, pharmaceutical supplies, and drug sales business, court documents state. On July 30, Walgreens also bought assets—including prescription files and records—that were connected with the Franck's Pharmacy retail business.

Franck maintained ownership of Trinity Healthcare, which sells intravenous or continuous drip medications as well as intravenous nutrition products, his declaration states.

17 in Congress want changes in drug rules

Seventeen members of Congress have expressed concern that some federal restrictions on controlled substances could hurt veterinary care.

In a letter sent Oct. 12, those members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked to meet with Drug Enforcement Administration officials about the agency's determination that veterinarians cannot legally transport controlled substances for use outside of locations they have registered with the DEA.

The DEA's Sacramento office asked this past spring that some veterinarians who registered their home addresses as their places of business give the DEA the addresses of their actual places of business, according to the California VMA. DEA officials have said that, under the Controlled Substances Act passed by Congress in 1970, veterinarians who are registered only at their home addresses can store, distribute, or dispense controlled substances at their homes but need separate registrations for other locations such as clients' homes and farms.

The congressional members' letter states that veterinarians need to be able to provide mobile or ambulatory services, particularly when making house calls or treating livestock. Veterinarians secure controlled substances when they remove them from registered locations, and they keep required records, the letter states.

“While we support the overall intentions of DEA's Diversion Control Program, we do not believe the intention of the program is to prohibit veterinarians from transporting drugs that are essential to provide complete veterinary care,” the letter states. “This remains an issue of great concern to many of our constituents and, as such, we request your agency provide technical drafting assistance on how best to resolve this difficult situation to the satisfaction of both sides.”

The letter was signed by Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Bob Goodlatte, Brett Guthrie, Vicky Hartzler, Tim Huelskamp, Randy Hultgren, Steve King, Larry Kissell, Frank Lucas, Jim McGovern, Collin Peterson, Dave Reichert, Reid Ribble, (Dr.) Kurt Schrader, David Scott, Terri Sewell, and Glenn Thompson.

Practice: Enduring, but in reduced numbers

Speakers predict fewer cattle veterinarians will provide broader services

By Greg Cima

Dr. G. Kee Jim expects fewer veterinarians will work on beef cattle in the near future.

He thinks many who remain will have prominent roles on consulting teams that perform services as varied as accounting, employee training, and cattle nutrition planning. The profession's work with large-scale beef producers will transition from the examination of the diseased and dying to the use of training in scientific fields such as pathology and epidemiology to work with other professions to increase cattle owner profits.

“Our role has to be one of figuring out how to improve the net profitability, the bottom line, of our large customers—i.e., the ones that will still be around,” he said. “We all may have notions, you know, of the romance of the small herd, and if you are a physician emulator as a veterinarian, if that's your role model, then fine: Try to figure out how to service the small dairies, the small beef herds.”

Dr. Jim, a founding partner of Feedlot Health Management Services in southern Alberta, was among presenters at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners annual conference who predicted bovine medicine will change and advised colleagues to adapt. He described a future involving management on ranches and feedlots, and increased income for those who figure out what services ranchers do not want to perform themselves.

“You have to provide the services that your customers want and want you to do,” Dr. Jim said.

Several presenters at the meeting this September in Montreal similarly described an evolution toward beef and dairy work that involves less clinical care. Others indicated that areas of the U.S. and Canada that have no veterinarians but thousands of livestock are not so much a result of shortages of veterinarians, but rather, are areas that would not give veterinarians a good quality of life.

Dr. M. Gatz Riddell, AABP executive vice president, expects that a spectrum of cattle operation sizes—as well as varied levels of abilities among owners—will continue over the next 30 years. While he thinks Dr. Jim has an exceptional ability to deliver services to large-scale producers, Dr. Riddell said after the meeting that traditional practice likely will not completely follow Dr. Jim's lead because of the needs of small and medium cattle operations.

However, Dr. Riddell agrees that the number of food animal veterinarians likely will decline as animal agriculture businesses continue on a trend of consolidation.

Decline pending

The AABP has about 5,200 members, 4,600 of whom are dues-paying members, Dr. Riddell said. About 1,200 veterinarians and students attended the September meeting.

Dr. Riddell told attendees near the close of the conference they were being unrealistic if they thought the AABP would maintain membership numbers at the current level over the next five or 10 years. He later clarified that while membership likely will decline, the diversity of member careers and backgrounds will increase.

He said in a later interview, “I think the contraction in animal agriculture is going to continue, and what I said is really relevant if we don't change our model and the industries don't change, because the vast majority of animal protein is probably going to be produced on operations that will tend to trend larger.”

Anne Dunford, a market analyst and consultant, said few countries, such as Brazil, have increasing numbers of livestock. She expects that North American companies with access to capital and credit will drive consolidation in the beef cattle market. Profits will depend on risk management, and cattle owners' longevity in the industry will be connected with their tolerance of volatility.

In addition, areas with cattle and no nearby veterinarians do not have shortages of veterinarians but shortages of people willing to work long hours for little money, according to Dr. Murray Jelinski, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan. He said that predictably, veterinarians practice in populated areas with good soil, yet in the U.S. and Australia, people are responding to the absence of veterinarians in rural areas with proposals to open veterinary schools, which he likened to “pushing a rope.”

Dr. Riddell questioned whether some cattle owners in areas considered to have insufficient access to veterinary services actually are unwilling to pay modern rates that would give veterinarians sustainable businesses and middle-class incomes.

“If you want somebody to come out and deliver a calf for $35 like ‘old Doc’ did in 1965, how does that address the $150,000 debt load?” he asked.

Cows are treated as commodities, Dr. Jelinski said. With declining numbers of farms being run by an aging population of producers, he expects an accelerated pace of consolidation.

Veterinarians will see many opportunities in cattle practice, Dr. Jelinski said. But the areas unable to attract large animal veterinarians likely do not have the animal populations needed to support veterinarians. He sees incentives such as loan repayment programs as temporary solutions.

Adapting cattle care

Dr. Riddell expects more veterinarians will become owners and managers of cattle operations, continuing a trend he has seen in recent years. Those veterinarians use different skills and talents than those commonly taught in veterinary schools.

“Everybody, myself included, goes to vet school to fix sick animals or hurt animals,” Dr. Riddell said. In food animal practice, disease prevention is instead the focus.

Working in prevention requires a different perspective than does securing a plate on a dog's broken leg, surgically correcting a horse's twisted intestine, or performing a cesarean section on a cow. Prevention involves tasks such as helping to select bulls that will sire calves with birth weights low enough that cows can deliver them without intervention, preventing fires rather than extinguishing them.

Dr. Jelinski noted that cattle owners or their employees often perform tasks such as checking cows for pregnancy instead of paying veterinarians for the services. He thinks veterinarians lack the influence needed to fight to retain such services, but they can receive some income for the procedures if they hire veterinary technicians to perform tasks at prices producers are willing to pay.

As veterinarians change which services they provide, he sees the possibility that their services will conflict with those provided by other professionals, including geneticists and nutritionists.

Dr. Daryl Nydam, whose presentation described Cornell University's annual Summer Dairy Institute program for veterinary students, expects dairies will move primarily toward two models: niche or lifestyle dairies and large commercial productions. He expects divergence among dairy veterinarians into those providing rural, mixed animal practice and those in large-scale food supply medicine. Dr. Nydam does not expect long dairy-exclusive careers based solely on good clinical services, so the institute instructs veterinary students on varied topics such as economics and foreign cultures.


Dr. G. Kee Jim describes veterinarians' changing roles in cattle practice. He gave the presentation Sept. 20 in Montreal during the annual conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. (Photo by Greg Cima)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dr. Mark J. Thomas of Lowville, N.Y., said that while veterinarians are receiving fewer calls to treat sick cows and perform surgeries, they can break their dependence on technical services and offer more value than they have in the past after taking advantage of training and research that is available to them.

Dr. Riddell said veterinarians who want to continue working for small herds can help them produce more valuable products, such as those sold as locally produced, organic, natural, or farmer-owner–processed.

However, Dr. Jim also said that veterinarians might have another opportunity in the near future, as he expected Canadian swine farms would soon trade at 10 percent of their normal price. If they hit that price, he expected that he himself would become a herd owner.


Practice: Production practices not justified by productivity

By Greg Cima

Dr. Jennifer Walker said public trust in farmers can be supported by, but not based on, science and economics.

She is director of dairy stewardship for Dean Foods, and she said public trust is founded in a belief that farmers share the public's ethical views on animal treatment.

“We need to recognize that good production does not guarantee good welfare,” she said. “We cannot defend our practices with pounds.

“Why? Because it's not necessarily true, and it makes us appear ingenuine.”

Dr. Walker made the comments in a presentation at September's annual conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, hosted this year in Montreal. She described the public as increasingly concerned about the treatment and care given to pets and livestock.

“Special interest groups have capitalized on this concern, and, if we are effectively to position ourselves in this dialogue, we must understand how and why we have found ourselves cornered and accused of being irresponsible and, at times, unethical,” she said.

Other presentations and discussions during the conference detailed efforts to reduce stress and suffering. Those presentations and Dr. Walker's seemed to contrast most sharply with one given by a Nebraska beef producer who described animal health as a means toward profit and indicated that a group of cattle with lower weights and more deaths can be more profitable than another group of cattle for which the opposite is true.

Guiding, training, investigating

In a meeting of the AABP Animal Welfare Committee, veterinarians described work on best management practices, development of comprehensive statements in response to animal abuse, and development of a publicly available brochure to explain the decisions and methods involved in euthanasia of cattle. Dr. Michael Bolton, committee chair, said in a discussion of euthanasia and slaughter guidance that veterinarians need to make sure cattle have merciful deaths.


Dr. Jennifer Walker gives a presentation on the animal welfare views of the public and milk-buying companies as well as veterinarians' roles in ensuring welfare. (Photo by Greg Cima)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Some presenters also discussed ways to reduce cattle stress. For example, two of the conference presenters detailed methods to influence cattle behavior and movement without touching or exciting the animals.

Dr. Franklyn B. Garry, a professor at Colorado State University, cited dairy industry data in estimating about 9 percent of cattle die on dairy farms yearly, a figure he thinks is troublingly high and indicative of welfare problems and unnecessary losses. He thinks dairy veterinarians have not paid close enough attention and have let “bad” become “normal.”

About 1 percent die on beef cow and calf operations and 1.5 percent in feedlots, he said.

On dairy farms, 3 percent is achievable, according to Dr. Garry. Profoundly improved outcomes could be achieved on dairy farms with more subclinical disease monitoring and better data collection and entry on cow deaths. Dr. Garry said necropsies are the only way to accurately assess the proximate cause of many cow deaths. He noted that necropsies are performed on about 55 percent of cattle that die in feedlots.

Expanding moral circles

People's ethics are not changing, but they are applying morals more broadly at the same time as they are becoming further removed from farms, Dr. Walker said. The public sees popular views of animals as having dreams, needs, and wants, and companion animals are the only stable parts of many people's lives.

Secretly recorded videos have repeatedly shown abuse and poor welfare on farms, and, while veterinary organizations have condemned such behavior, Dr. Walker said the public expects veterinarians to solve or prevent such problems. Instead, she said, corporations with brands at stake have begun to implement their own welfare programs.

Leaders in the companies that buy meat and milk know the consequences of failing to live up to public expectations concerning animal welfare, Dr. Walker said, and they want leadership, documented continuous improvement, action plans, and absolutes such as prohibited practices.

Veterinarians need to make sure farmers are doing what is right for animals, Dr. Walker said, and veterinarians have opportunities to build trust and shape their legacy.

Speaker says technicians benefit large animal, small animal practices

Dr. Sarah A. Wagner said credentialed veterinary technicians can give educated input, take over routine work, and help clinics bring in more money.

In a presentation at the annual conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, she likened technicians to nurses and described those she has employed as thoughtful, educated, and trusted professionals. The meeting was hosted in September in Montreal.

Dr. Wagner is an associate professor at North Dakota State University, and she represents large animal practice on the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.

Dr. Wagner cited an article in JAVMA, “Contribution of veterinary technicians to veterinary business revenue, 2007” (JAVMA 2010;236:846), which reported the normalized results of a survey of 328 veterinarians that found that the typical veterinarian's gross revenue increased by $93,311 for each additional credentialed veterinary technician in the practice.

“How many of you have veterinary technicians?”she asked. “How many of you pay them $93,000?”

Dr. Wagner said that, after she hired a technician, her weekend work was finished at noon instead of 2 p.m., and the work had a more relaxed pace. A colleague told her his large animal practice similarly finished work about two hours earlier while seeing the same number of clients.


Dr. Sarah A. Wagner, while closing her presentation on the benefits of hiring veterinary technicians, shows a photo of faculty and staff of the veterinary technology program at North Dakota State University. (Photo by Greg Cima)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Although Dr. Wagner acknowledged that some veterinarians have hired technicians who did not work out well for their clinics, she questioned how many of those veterinarians married the first person they dated or replaced a receptionist or associate who did not work out.

“If the first technician that you got was not a good match for you, it doesn't mean that a technician can't work for you,” she said.

Practice: Pushing for dialogue on cattle practice's future

Dr. Nigel B. Cook is 2012–2013 AABP president

By Greg Cima

Dr. Nigel B. Cook wants to kick-start discussion about how veterinarians work with cattle-owning clients.


Dr. Nigel B. Cook (Courtesy of Thomas Bennett)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dairy and beef herds are becoming larger, and veterinarians need new ways to remain relevant. Dr. Cook wants the American Association of Bovine Practitioners to help veterinarians develop new and desired services and to subsequently make enough money that new graduates can pay off increasingly high educational debts.

Dr. Cook, a clinical associate professor of 13 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, started his one-year term as AABP president in September in Montreal. In an interview with JAVMA, he described his career, the challenges facing bovine medicine, and his hopes for the coming year.

Dr. Cook grew up in the U.K. city of Birmingham, watching James Herriot episodes on Sunday nights and camping in farmers' fields on weekends with his uncle. In high school, he shadowed veterinarians who worked in small animal practice, which was his focus when he began attending the University of Bristol Veterinary School.

Dr. Cook shifted toward cattle practice with inspiration from faculty mentors such as Dr. John Webster as well as from a private practitioner who brought him to various farms and showed him “how much fun being a food animal vet could be.”

Dr. Cookjoined a 16-person practice in Salisbury, Wiltshire, shortly after graduating in mid-1992, the peak of the nation's bovine spongiform encephalopathy crisis. Beyond identifying BSE-infected animals, he got to work with veterinarians who focused on alternatives to “fire brigade” work, instead making routine visits to provide services such as health and nutrition advice, fertility work, mastitis consulting, and hoof care.

“It was great for me to join a practice that, at that time, was really thinking forward and realizing that emergency work was not going to be able to sustain us, and I had a great four years there,” Dr. Cook said.

He left private practice to help run the large animal ambulatory clinic at the Royal Veterinary College in London before taking a job at UW's Madison campus.

Dr. Cook sees a long-term challenge in maintaining the supply of people interested in becoming cattle veterinarians as educational costs escalate without a matching rise in starting salaries.

Students who attended the AABP conference in September told Dr. Cook that they learned how veterinary care was changing on larger farms and how that care differed from their perceptions of veterinary medicine when they entered veterinary school.

“We have a lot of kids who want to do individual cow or small ruminant work, and we all get a kick out of treating milk fevers and surgically fixing displaced abomasums,” he said. “But, increasingly, that's not going to be our role in larger herds.”

Veterinarians will still perform individual health care for smaller herds, which endure despite predictions of their impending demise, Dr. Cook said. But work for larger clients has to move beyond routine palpations.

Some veterinary colleges are preparing students for that future, but all are operating with shrinking budgets, fewer faculty members, and diminishing resources, he said.

“I think fewer and fewer North American vet schools are able to teach to the level we would like to see for dairy and beef practice, and so I think you're seeing the emergence of institutions that can carry that load and others that will struggle,” Dr. Cook said.

Not all students will be able to get the best veterinary education for their focus area in their home states, he said, noting that such students will bear the added cost of out-of-state tuition.

In addition, veterinarians already in practice will face challenges as they try to wrest leadership on animal welfare away from behaviorists and animal scientists, Dr. Cook said.

“We're in danger of being irrelevant in a subject that we should own, and animal welfare should be the front-and-center of what we do on our farms, of ensuring the well-being of cattle under our care,” Dr. Cook said.

He thinks more veterinarians need to think of themselves as leaders on welfare.

“We have to be the person who advocates for the cow,” he said.

Dr. Cook also wants the veterinary profession to examine its practice models and how it delivers services for cattle owners, whether veterinarians practice in the manner of physicians, consultants, or facilitators. For example, he cited a presentation during the AABP conference that described facilitative work such as filtering advice for owners of large herds and studying the effects of following that advice.

Each veterinarian in cattle practice likely can use multiple practice models suited to needs of small or large herds, Dr. Cook said.

“But you're certainly going to see the emergence of larger, more organized clinics that really go after a different type of practice model” that improves their ability to serve clients with larger herds, he said.

The AABP also is developing best management practices for veterinary practice, a project that Dr. Cook wants to continue based on work started by his predecessor, Dr. Brian Gerloff.

“It's going to take a huge effort from our issues committees and from our board of directors to try to make sure we have a unified position on many of the things that are welfare concerns and management concerns—from castration to dehorning to weaning to transport to drug use,” he said.

Dr. Cook thinks cattle veterinarians need to say “This is what we expect,” and “These are the ways we need to practice” to gain leadership in animal welfare and develop a sustainable practice model.


Dr. Nigel B. Cook closes the business and awards luncheon Sept. 22 at the 45th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. (Photo by Greg Cima)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Community: Australian veterinary school AVMA-accredited

Council decision made after August site visit

By Malinda Larkin

A 76-year-old veterinary program, located about 60 miles west of Brisbane, Australia, is the latest to be accredited by the AVMA Council on Education.

The University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science has received full accreditation for the next seven years. That makes the institution the fourth in Australia to be recognized by the council and the 18th foreign veterinary school, including five in Canada.

Council members made the decision during their meeting Oct. 7–9 at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill.

COE accreditation measures veterinary programs according to 11 standards, which cover areas such as physical facilities, clinical resources, curriculum, and research. The accreditation team made a consultative site visit in August 2010, during the move of the veterinary school into new facilities for teaching and research, which cost $100 million in Australian dollars to build, at the Gatton Campus of the University of Queensland.

“At the time of the consultative visit, we were still undergoing a process of settling into these new facilities and especially our new veterinary hospital. The key recommendations from the 2010 consultative visit related to building caseload—especially equine—and reviewing the school's administrative structure,” Dr. Glen Coleman, head of the veterinary school, told JAVMA.

By the time of the comprehensive site visit this past August, the veterinary school had finished its transition process. Dr. Coleman said the school continues to build its small animal caseload in the new Veterinary Clinical Studies Centre while maintaining the original veterinary teaching hospital at the old campus in Brisbane. The equine practice is well-established—thanks to a large local Thoroughbred population—and the new teaching and research facilities are fully operational.


Queensland's School of Veterinary Science occupies four recently constructed buildings that house companion animal and equine hospitals, veterinary teaching laboratories, a four-story office and research tower (pictured), and a clinical studies center. (Photos courtesy of University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

The five-year BVSc degree program already has full accreditation with the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the United Kingdom. This enables Queensland graduates to also practice in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Hong Kong, and most of Asia.

Dr. Coleman said in an Oct. 18 press release that COE accreditation was a “tremendous result and would have substantial benefit for current and prospective students, staff, the university, and the profession in general.

“AVMA accreditation is well recognized as the international benchmark for quality in veterinary education,” Dr. Coleman said. “This is a ringing endorsement of the quality of the school's staff, students and facilities.”

He continued, “AVMA accreditation will also enable the UQ School of Veterinary Science to develop agreements with international veterinary schools for student exchanges which will enhance options for students and capitalize on the different veterinary experiences available at UQ and abroad.”

The current number of veterinary students enrolled totals 577. The veterinary school accepts a mean 120 students per year; of that number, 28 are usually international students. Most of them come from Hong Kong, Singapore, or other Southeast Asian countries. The number of students from North America is low—one to two students per year. Starting with those in 2012, graduates will be able to sit for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination, a prerequisite to practice in North America.

“There is interest from a small number of our current students to pursue a global career in veterinary medicine, which would include working in the U.S. Numbers taking the NAVLE are expected to remain low,” Dr. Coleman told JAVMA.

All of UQ's veterinary graduates are employed either immediately after graduation or within a short period thereafter, he said. About half pursue mixed animal practice, 30 percent go into small animal practice, 10 percent opt for large animal practice, and the remaining 10 percent engage in other areas of the profession, including research, wildlife medicine, or government. (Dr. Coleman added that Australia, like the United States, has regions where veterinarians are scarce, particularly in remote and rural areas.)

Since its first admission of students in 1936, the UQ School of Veterinary Science has been recognized for excellence in teaching across the veterinary disciplines and the quality of its research. Major contributions have been in tropical and subtropical animal health and medicine.


Veterinary students at the University of Queensland work in teams in the 130-seat anatomy laboratory.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Illinois dean returning to faculty position

Dr. Herbert E. Whiteley announced Oct. 16 in an email to alumni that he will be stepping down as dean of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

In August 2013, he will have completed his 12th year as dean; Dr. Whiteley plans to return to faculty responsibilities in the fall of 2013 or when a new dean is in place.

Dr. Whiteley's background includes 11 years on the veterinary faculty at Illinois, followed by seven years as head of the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science and the diagnostic laboratory director at the University of Connecticut.

Since returning to Illinois in 2001 as its sixth dean, Dr. Whiteley focused on strategic planning to ensure strategic growth despite budgetary constraints. Greater multidisciplinary collaborations in translational biomedical research and the creation of a comprehensive facilities plan for the future are hallmarks of his tenure.

Specific achievements he oversaw include the following:

  • • Implementation of all four years of the Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum.

  • • Development of the Clinical Skills Learning Center.

  • • Establishment of the Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine.

  • • Surpassing the veterinary college's fundraising campaign goal by $16 million to raise more than $51 million.

  • • Crafting and implementation of the veterinary college's strategic plan.

  • • Establishment of the Illinois Center for One Medicine, One Health.

Dr. Whiteley received his DVM degree from Purdue University in 1977 and his doctorate in pathology from Colorado State University in 1984. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.


Dr. Herbert E. Whiteley

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

U of I Provost Ilesanmi Adesida is identifying a search committee for the veterinary college's new dean.

Community: One-health initiative takes off at Texas A&M

Texas A&M University recently identified one health as one of its “prominent grand challenges,” according to an Oct. 13 TAMU press release. The hope is to have every Texas A&M college contribute to one health, be it through public policy initiatives, entrepreneurship, commercialization pathways, climatology, remote medicine, biomedical engineering, or education.

TAMU's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, as part of its commitment to taking a leadership role in advancing this field, launched the One Health Plus initiative and hired its first assistant dean of one health and strategic initiatives.

Starting Nov. 1, Dr. H. Michael Chaddock became the anchor of the initiative within and beyond the college, responsible for designing and implementing education, research, and outreach programs that advance the goals of the initiative, Dean Eleanor M. Green said in the release.

As a part of his new role at the college, Dr. Chaddock will not only be developing programs to heighten awareness of One Health Plus outside the veterinary college but also will be integrating the concept into the classroom.

“Following our land grant foundation and reaching out to all the professions and colleges involved in ecosystem health will allow us to incorporate education, research, and service into our curriculum,” he said in the release.

“The CVM has a responsibility to continue to emphasize the importance of the one-health approach in all aspects of educating veterinary medical students. I also believe the CVMBS can and should reach out to the other ecosystem health colleges on campus and develop relationships to find meaningful education experiences where students … can study theory and practical cases together where these disciplines intersect. …”

Dr. Chaddock, who began his career as a mixed animal practitioner, served as director and state veterinarian for the Michigan Department of Agriculture for 15 years. He served as director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division for three years. Thereafter, he joined the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, where he served as director of communications, associate executive director, and most recently as deputy executive director.

Concurrently, Dr. Chaddock established collaborations and appointments at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies.


Dr. H. Michael Chaddock

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dean Green noted that the One Health Plus initiative not only will impact citizens in Texas but also will represent a global initiative to address ecosystem health worldwide.

“When we created this position within our college, we wanted to find the person who understood the scope and magnitude of the One Health Plus concept, and could develop international relationships and leadership opportunities that will positively impact the health status of our world community both today and tomorrow. We found that leader in Dr. Chaddock, and we are looking forward to seeing his vision of One Health Plus unfold,” she said.

Swine medicine program gets $700,000

A swine medicine program will use a $714,000 federal grant to develop a curriculum and become a national center for excellence.

The Iowa State University Swine Medicine Education Center received the money through a Higher Education Challenge Grant from the Department of Agriculture. The grant will be used in a three-year project that will help make the program “a resource for providing unparalleled hands-on opportunities to veterinary students across the United States,” Dr. Locke A. Karriker, the program director, said in the announcement.

Information from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture indicates grant recipients need to match 25 percent of the cost of the grant.

The ISU program provides specialized courses for fourth-year veterinary students, and it admitted its first students in 2011. It has an annual budget of about $500,000, most of which comes from industry and educational fees.

In seeking the grant, ISU officials proposed developing four intensive three-week courses to be offered to 64 veterinary students interested in swine medicine, NIFA information states. They also proposed producing an inventory of swine medicine training across the U.S. and determining how many students who are interested in swine medicine become involved in swine practice.

IOM elects veterinary ophthalmologist to membership

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences has elected to its membership Dr. Gustavo D. Aguirre. He is a professor of medical genetics and ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Aguirre has led efforts to identify the genetic causes of inherited blindness, identify the mechanisms linking mutation to disease, and develop treatment approaches to various forms of blindness. Modeling the visual disorders in dogs, he and colleagues have found a cure for retinal degeneration in animals—breakthroughs that have laid the groundwork for human clinical trials.

Recently, Dr. Aguirre was elected a fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

This year, the full membership of the IOM elected 70 new members and 10 foreign associates. Members are elected for their excellence and professional achievement in a field relevant to the IOM's mission and for their willingness to participate actively in its work. Fewer than 20 veterinarians are counted among the institute's ranks.


Dr. Gustavo D. Aguirre

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dr. Aguirre earned his bachelor's (1964), veterinary (1968), and doctoral (1975) degrees from Penn. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.


American Association of Bovine Practitioners

Seven veterinarians were honored for their contributions to the veterinary profession and cattle health Sept. 22 in Montreal during the 45th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

Dr. Earl P. Aalseth of Lake Stevens, Wash., received the Boehringer Ingelheim AABP 2012 Practitioner of the Year Award.

Dr. Roger G. Ellis of Granville, N.Y., received the AABP Award of Excellence.

Dr. Allan M. Britten of Boise, Idaho, received the Merial Excellence in Preventive Medicine Award for dairy cattle medicine.

Dr. W. Mark Hilton of West Lafayette, Ind., received the Merial Excellence in Preventive Medicine Award for beef cattle medicine

Dr. Keith Sterner of Ionia, Mich., received the Pfizer Animal Health Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Arthur D. Currey of Fowlerville, Mich., received the Merck Animal Health Mentor of the Year Award.

Dr. Jennifer A. Hatcher of College Grove, Tenn., received the Merial James A. Jarrett Award for Young Leaders.

Two veterinarians were honored posthumously for careers that helped reduce disease in cattle.

Drs. John B. Herrick of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and James A. Jarrett of Rome, Ga., were inducted into the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame during the conference. The hall of fame is sponsored by the AABP, the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, the trade journal Bovine Veterinarian, Merck Animal Health, and Osborn Barr.


Dr. Earl P. Aalseth

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Roger G. Ellis

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Allan M. Britten

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. W. Mark Hilton

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Keith Sterner

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Arthur D. Currey

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Jennifer A. Hatcher

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. John B. Herrick

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dr. Herrick, who was AVMA president from 1969–1970, was inducted for his work in the beef cattle industry to develop preconditioning programs for weaned calves and to control brucellosis and mastitis. He died May 17, 2007.


Dr. James A. Jarrett

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dr. Jarrett helped found the AABP in 1964 and was executive vice president from 1993–2005. He was honored as a dairy expert who focused on milk quality, dairy nutrition, and reproduction. He developed one of the nation's first milk quality programs. He died Jan. 22, 2005.

Community: Voters send two veterinarians to Congress

Newcomer Yoho elected; Schrader wins third term

By R. Scott Nolen

Two veterinarians will be serving in the U.S. House of Representatives come Jan. 3.

Drs. Ted Yoho and Kurt Schrader won their respective congressional district races in Florida and Oregon by respectable margins in the general election Nov. 6. They are the only veterinarians serving in the upcoming 113th Congress.


Dr. Kurt Schrader

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Ted Yoho

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Dr. Yoho, a Republican from Gainesville, Fla., won the state's 3rd District election with nearly 65 percent of the vote after upsetting incumbent Cliff Stearns in the August primary. And in Oregon's 5th District, Dr. Schrader, a Democrat from Canby, was elected to a third term with 54 percent of the vote.

“The AVMA is very excited that two veterinarians will be members of the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress,” AVMA President Doug Aspros said. “In addition to understanding issues as they relate to veterinarians, they are uniquely qualified to advance public policy related to animal health and welfare, public health, food safety, bio- and agro-terrorism, and small business issues.

“We look forward to working with Congressman Schrader and Congressman-elect Yoho on these and other important issues facing our country.”

Dr. Yoho is a large animal practitioner who had grown frustrated with Washington, D.C., and decided to enter the 3rd District's Republican primary. He campaigned with the slogan “Had enough?” and ran on a Tea Party–style platform of limited government, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise, and personal responsibility.

Since graduating from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Yoho had spent more than three decades in private practice. Keeping costs low during the primary campaign, he spent only about $320,000 then. In contrast, Dr. Yoho's opponent was Rep. Cliff Stearns, a 12-term incumbent with more than $2 million in campaign funds and supported by such conservative heavyweights as Michele Bachmann.

Dr. Yoho's narrow defeat of Stearns stunned Washington and paved the way to his general election victory this November over the Democratic nominee by a margin of 64 percent to 32 percent. Dr. Yoho believes his veterinary knowledge and agricultural background would best be used on the House Committee on Agriculture.

Dr. Schrader was first elected Oregon's 5th Congressional District representative in 2008 and won re-election in 2010. The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine graduate previously spent more than 30 years as an organic farmer and veterinary practice owner. He was also a member of the Oregon legislature from 1996 until his election to Congress.

Currently, Dr. Schrader serves on the House Agriculture Committee and Committee on Small Business and is ranking member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Finance and Tax. In addition, he chairs the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and the New Democrat Coalition's Health Care Task Force.

Dr. Schrader has been a reliable supporter of the AVMA's legislative agenda, including expressing his opposition to the Fairness to Pet Owners Act. The AVMA is working to prevent this bill from being enacted because it would require veterinarians to provide written disclosure notifying pet owners that they may fill prescriptions through the prescriber or another pharmacy.

In the general election, Dr. Schrader beat his Republican challenger by a margin of 54 percent to 43 percent, winning a third term in the House.

Veterinary emergency, critical care groups hold symposium

Event: 18th International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium, Sept. 8–12, San Antonio Program: This year's symposium, conducted jointly by the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, and Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians, was dedicated to the late Dr. Douglass Macintire, who died in December 2011. A past president of the VECCS, Dr. Macintire was a professor at Auburn University, where she developed the emergency medicine and critical care program. The symposium drew more than 2,500 attendees, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, students, and practice managers, representing 35 countries. The focus was diagnostics in emergency and critical care. More than 430 hours of continuing education were offered, with lecture tracks for veterinarians and technicians, research abstracts, a practice management program, wet and dry labs, and workshops. Also offered were sessions on endothelial function, diagnostics, and microparticles; discussions on platelet mapping and stem cell therapy; and lectures and a dry lab on equine CPR. Updates were provided on the Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation project. The symposium also served as the venue for the annual meetings of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists, Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists, and Veterinary and Emergency Critical Care Foundation. For the second time, the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management met at the symposium. Dr. Jim Giles presented the Robert P. Knowles Memorial Keynote Lecture on the care and use of military dogs in a combat environment. Dr. Giles, who is chief of the Animal Health Branch in the Department of Veterinary Science at the Army Medical Department Center and School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, spoke of his experiences in Afghanistan, where he cared for injured military dogs and interacted with their handlers.


Harold Davis Jr.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Daniel Fletcher

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Robert Goggs

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Odette O

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Joao Soares

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Justin Mathis

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Dr. Khursheed Mama

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392


Erica Mattox

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Awards: Ira M. Zaslow VECCS Distinguished Service Award: Harold Davis Jr., West Sacramento, Calif., for his commitment, dedication, vision, and service to the society. Davis, who is the first veterinary technician to receive this honor, is supervisor of the Small Animal Emergency Nursing Service and coordinator and instructor of the hospital practices courses for veterinary students at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a past president of the VECCS and has served as operations director and audiovisual coordinator for the IVECCS since 1990. Hill's Dr. Jack Mara ACVECC Achievement Award: Dr. Dawn Boothe, Auburn, Ala., for her work relating to critical care pharmacology. Dr. Boothe is a professor of physiology and pharmacology at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Merck Animal Health Equine Emergency & Critical Care Educator of the Year: Dr. Susan Holcombe, East Lansing, Mich., for her contributions as a lecturer and educator at the IVECCS for the past several years. Dr. Holcombe is a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. ACVECC Research Grant Award ($9,000): Dr. Daniel Fletcher, Cornell University, for “Hyperfibrinolysis and hypocoagulability in canine hemoperitoneum.” VECCF Research Grant Award ($9,995.86): Dr. Robert Goggs, Bristol University, for “Multicenter in vitro TEG-ROTEM standardization.” Small Animal Resident Abstract Award, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health: A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Duana McBride, Murdock University, for “Platelet closure time in dogs with hemorrhagic shock treated with hydroxethyl starch 140/0.3 or 0.9% NaCl.” Large Animal Resident Abstract Award, sponsored by Mila International: A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Kari Vander Werf, University of Illinois, for “A comparison of blood gas, electrolyte, and metabolite results on blood obtained by arterial puncture, jugular, and transverse facial venous venipuncture in normal adult horses.” ACVA Resident Abstract Award, sponsored by Smiths Medical and SurgiVet: First place—Dr. Ashley Barton-Lamb, Cornell University, for “Evaluation of maxillary arterial flow in cats with and without use of a spring loaded dental mouth gag”; Honorable mention—Drs. Odette O, University of Wisconsin-Madison, for “A comparison of epidural bupivicaine, bupivicaine + morphine, and bupivicaine + dexmedetomidine for analgesia in dogs undergoing pelvic limb orthopedic surgery”; and Joao Soares, University of California-Davis, for “Solubility of haloether anesthetics in human and animal blood.” Case Report Award, sponsored by Merial: A stipend of $300 was awarded to Dr. Justin Mathis, Colorado State University, for “Stuck between a rib and a hard place.” Technician Case Report Award, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health: A stipend of $300 was awarded to Erica Mattox, Garden City, Idaho, for “Stuck between a rock and a hard place: The case of the dyspneic pig.”

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society

Business: Members were updated on society activities and initiatives since September 2010. The final proposal for the society's emergency practice accreditation process was presented and approved. The Practice Management Committee reported that it has run surveys and sent emails to expand the practice management database. The Membership Committee considered ideas for expanding member benefits and noted that the VECCS Ambassador Program is continuing to expand with more than 80 members signed on. The Finance Committee discussed its meeting with investment advisers, focusing on socially responsible investing. The Publication Committee reported that manuscript submissions are higher than in 2011, and the independent rating for the journal has increased and improved. A special issue and supplement were published in 2012.

Officials: Dr. Marie Kerl, Columbia, Mo., president; Dr. Scott Johnson, Austin, Texas, president-elect; Dr. Cole Taylor, Leesburg, Va., treasurer; Andrea Battaglia, Ithaca, N.Y., recording secretary; Dr. Elke Rudloff, Glendale, Wis., immediate past president; Dr. Gary Stamp, San Antonio, executive director; and members-at-large—Drs. Diana Hassel, Fort Collins, Colo., and Jennifer Cyborski, Appleton, Wis.

American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Program: The ACVECC conducted its certification examination and held its annual business meeting.

New diplomates: Fifty-five individuals passed the certification examination. They are as follows:

  • John Anastasio, Katonah, N.Y.

  • Danielle Babski, Tucson, Ariz.

  • Dominic Barfield, Hatfield, United Kingdom

  • Kelly Blackstock, Ithaca, N.Y.

  • Kimberly Boyle, Encinitas, Calif.

  • Cheryl Braswell, Ventura, Calif.

  • Yaron Bruchim, Jerusalem

  • Janine Calabro, Washington, D.C.

  • Jaime Chandler, Fisherville, Ontario

  • Elise Craft, Fairport, N.Y.

  • Ashley Davis, Estero, Fla.

  • Julie Dechant, Woodland, Calif.

  • Alberto Fernandez, Caguas, Puerto Rico

  • Kathleen Frantz, Avon, Ohio

  • Mitchell Fults, Eugene, Ore.

  • Anya Gambino, Boston

  • Michelle Goodnight, Fort Bragg, N.C.

  • Carol Haak, Saint Francis, Wis.

  • Sharlee Haas, Fort Collins, Colo.

  • Esther Hassdenteufel, Giessen, Germany

  • Mark Haworth, Perth, Western Australia

  • Caroline Hirst, Farnham, United Kingdom

  • Guillaume Hoareau, Davis, Calif.

  • Christine Iacovetta, Gainesville, Fla.

  • Tracy Julius, San Diego

  • Megan Kaplan, Pittsburgh

  • Eileen Kenney, Inglewood, Calif.

  • Kathleen Kersey, Cooper City, Fla.

  • Adam Lancaster, Estero, Fla.

  • Ta-Ying Debra Liu, Merced, Calif.

  • Barbara Maton, Murrysville, Pa.

  • Stacy Meola, Lafayette, Colo.

  • Erin Mooney, Werribee, Australia

  • Kara Osterbur, Pittsburgh

  • Lonny Pace, Riverside, Calif.

  • Edward Park, Fresno, Calif.

  • Adam Porter, Mahopac, N.Y.

  • Cassandra Powell, Fountain Valley, Calif.

  • Rolfe Radcliffe, Berkshire, N.Y.

  • Rebecca Rader, Livermore, Calif.

  • Lesleigh Redavid, Sarasota, Fla.

  • Christine Rutter, Pittsburgh

  • Laura Ruys, Culemborg, The Netherlands

  • Catherine Sabino, Guelph, Ontario

  • Heidi Schulze, Ottawa, Ontario

  • Megan Seekins, Seattle

  • Shelley Smith, Norwalk, Conn.

  • Nicole Spurlock, New York

  • Jennifer Stafford, Silver Spring, Md.

  • Jenefer Stillion, Calgary, Alberta

  • Catherine Sumner, West Roxbury, Mass.

  • Julie Walker, Fitchburg, Wis.

  • Leilani Ireland Way, Fort Collins, Colo.

  • Linda Weatherton, Las Vegas

  • Helen Wilson, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire

Officials: Drs. Tim Hackett, Fort Collins, Colo., president; Liz Rozanski, North Grafton, Mass., president-elect; Benjamin Brainard, Athens, Ga., vice president; Scott Shaw, North Grafton, Mass., treasurer; Armelle de Laforcade, North Grafton, Mass., executive secretary; Dennis Burkett, Newtown, Pa., immediate past president; and regents—Drs. Chris Byers, Omaha, Neb.; Jen Waldrop, Seattle; Alisa Reniker, Chandler, Ariz.; Barb Dallap-Schaer, Kennett Square, Pa.; Amy Carr, Murrieta, Calif.; and Lisa Powell, St. Paul, Minn.

Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians

Program: The 15th certification examination was conducted. The academy also held a pinning ceremony and reception for the class of 2011.

Business: The academy established a Mentoring Committee and reactivated the Nursing Standards Committee.

Officials: Andrea Steele, Guelph, Ontario, president; Trish Farry, Queensland, Australia, president-elect; Brandy Terry, Malverne, Pa., treasurer; Angela Randels, Chandler, Ariz., executive secretary; Rene Scalf, Fort Collins, Colo., immediate past president; and members-at-large—Amy Breton, Tewsbury, Mass.; David Liss, South Pasadena, Calif.; and Christine Slowiak, Napa, Calif.

American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists

Program: Thirty-one abstracts and six posters were presented. Frank Vertosick, MD, led the special focus session with lectures on the evolution of neuronal capacity for suffering, including the phylogenetic differentiation of the brain with respect to sensory input, nerve cell populations, connectivity, and processing. Speakers addressed anesthesia for geriatric patients, safety issues in anesthesia, and new anesthetic and analgesic agents, and participated in a panel discussion on current practices in pain management. Also offered were lectures on neuropathic pain management in small and large animals and a panel of case presentations. Labs were held on small animal local anesthetic techniques and advanced anesthetic monitoring.

New diplomates: Thirteen new diplomates were welcomed into the ACVA. They are as follows:

  • Joaquin Aroas, Santiago, Chile

  • Caroline Baldo, Sao Carlos, Brazil

  • Michele Barletta, Minneapolis

  • Andrea Caniglia, Philadelphia

  • Sathya Chinnadurai, West Sacramento, Calif.

  • Catherine Creighton, Roseworthy, Australia

  • Stefano di Concetto, Grenada, West Indies

  • Hiroki Sano, Philadelphia

  • Luiz Santos, Murdoch, Australia

  • Molly Shepard, Athens, Ga.

  • Joao Soares, Davis, Calif.

  • Alessio Vigani, Gainesville, Fla.

  • Erin Wendt-Hornickle, Madison, Wis.

Business: Discussions were held on the backlog of accepted manuscripts for Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia; amendments to the constitution and bylaws; 2012 written examination results; and changes to examination procedures.

Officials: Drs. Bruno Pypendop, Davis, Calif., president; Khursheed Mama, Fort Collins, Colo., president-elect; Lydia Donaldson, Middleburg, Va., executive secretary; and Robert Meyer, Mississippi State, Miss., immediate past president

Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists

Program: The certification examination was conducted. Anesthesia-related lectures, an informational session, and a lab titled “Anesthesia complications and emergencies” were provided.

Business: Discussions were held about the recertification and examination processes, applications from abroad, the introduction of a new online application packet, and plans for moving forward in the coming year.

Officials: Darci Palmer, Auburn, Ala., president; Kristin Cooley, Madison, Mich., president-elect; Lynette DeGouff, Cortland, N.Y., treasurer; Sharon Johnston, Statham, Ga., executive secretary; Susan Bryant, Southbridge, Mass., immediate past president; and members-at-large—Christine Slowiak, Livermore, Calif.; Lindsey Scanson, Louisville, Ky.; and Brenda Fuller, Fort Myers, Fla.

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Foundation

Program: The foundation organized and participated in a project to assist the San Antonio Animal Defense League. As part of the project, volunteers rehabbed a play yard, prepared dogs for a special adoption day, and installed a wet table. A silent auction was held, raising more than $8,500 for designated projects.

Officials: Drs. Bill Smith, Seale, Ala., president; Deborah Silverstein, Philadelphia, secretary; and Gary Stamp, San Antonio, treasurer-administrator

International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management

Program: The academy coordinated several pain management sessions. Dr. Lois Wetmore presented a focused review of current opioid pharmacology and clinical uses. A daylong symposium on neuropathic pain was held, including a presentation by Frank Vertosick, MD, on the evolution of suffering. A workshop was held for members considering the certified veterinary pain practitioner credentialing.

Business: Committee reports and budget and membership activities were reviewed. An overview of strategic planning was held. Members were updated on the academy's activities for the past year, and goals were discussed.

Officials: Dr. Michael Petty, Canton, Mich., president; Dr. Bonnie Wright, Fort Collins, Colo., president-elect; Dr. Kathy Morris-Stilwell, Redford, Mich., treasurer; Mary Ellen Goldberg, Boynton Beach, Fla., executive secretary; and Dr. Mark Epstein, Gastonia, N.C., immediate past president

Community: Association of Avian Veterinarians


Dr. James W. Carpenter

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 241, 11; 10.2460/javma.241.11.1392

Event: Annual meeting, Aug. 11–15, Louisville, Ky.

Awards: Dr. T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner Award: Dr. James W. Carpenter, Manhattan, Kan., for advancing avian medicine and surgery while providing inspiration and showing compassion. A 1974 graduate of the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine, Dr. Carpenter is a professor of zoological medicine at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He also serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery. Speaker of the Year: Dr. Angela Lennox, Indianapolis. A 1989 graduate of Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (avian practice), Dr. Lennox practices exotic medicine at Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic of Indianapolis. She was chosen as the favorite speaker from the 2011 AAV meeting. AAV Student Manuscript Competition Award: Lee Emery, Knoxville, Tenn., for “Pharmacokinetics of nebulized terbinafine in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).”

Officials: Drs. Sharman Hoppes, College Station, Texas, president; Bruce Nixon, College Station, Texas, president–elect; Laurie Hess, Bedford Hills, N.Y., treasurer; and James Harris, Sandy Bay, Australia, immediate past president and conference chair

Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

Cleo M. Babelay

Dr. Babelay (TEN ′81), 61, Corryton, Tenn., died July 28, 2012. A small animal practitioner, she owned Washington Pike Veterinary Hospital in Knoxville, Tenn., for 30 years. Dr. Babelay is survived by her husband, Danny Olinger. Memorials may be made to Young-Williams Animal Center, 3201 Division St. N.W., Knoxville, TN 37919.

Wesley R. Baker

Dr. Baker (OKL ′99), 52, Denison, Texas, died April 12, 2012. A small animal practitioner, he practiced in Oregon and Arizona for several years. Dr. Baker was a veteran of the Air Force.

Charles M. Barnes

Dr. Barnes (TEX ′44), 90, Georgetown, Texas, died Oct. 5, 2012. Prior to retirement in 2002, he was chief executive officer of the International Veterinary Medical Foundation, working extensively in foreign affairs and seeking funds to support U.S. and international veterinary colleges. Following graduation, Dr. Barnes established a general practice in Cisco, Texas. In 1947, he joined the Department of Agriculture and was assigned to Mexico, where he played an important role in the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease. Dr. Barnes spent the early 1950s assisting with the elimination of brucellosis and tuberculosis along the Gulf Coast.

He then joined the Air Force Veterinary Corps as chief of preventive medicine and base veterinarian at Sampson Air Force Base in Geneva, N.Y. Dr. Barnes subsequently studied radiation safety in Hanford, Wash., and, in 1956, obtained his doctorate in comparative pathology from the University of California at Berkeley and Davis. In 1958, he was assigned to the Atomic Energy Commission, participating in research and development programs on nuclear propulsion and auxiliary power systems. Dr. Barnes served as the commission's safety officer on the launches of the Navy's Transit satellites in 1961. During his military career, he was staff scientist with Joint Task Force Seven during hydrogen weapons testing in the Pacific Atolls; directed the Migratory Animal Pathological Survey in the Far East; helped design programs to use obsolete military aircraft to distribute sterile insects and insecticides in Latin America in an attempt to control the Mediterranean fruit fly, African bont tick, and screwworm; and worked for NASA, monitoring the space radiation environment through instrumentation aboard the Apollo series of unmanned spacecraft and serving as radiation safety officer during the first landing of man on the moon.

Dr. Barnes attained the rank of colonel with the Air Force Veterinary Corps. Following his retirement from the corps, he served three years as the USDA regional supervisory veterinarian for the Central American republics and Colombia, working toward the eradication of FMD and other exotic diseases. Dr. Barnes later briefly worked as a veterinarian with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Pakistan, taking care of mules used as supply transports between Pakistan and the mujahedeen in Afghanistan. During his military service, he received several honors, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Missileman Badge, and NASA Eagle Award. In 2002, Dr. Barnes was awarded the XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize for his outstanding contributions to the international understanding of veterinary medicine.

He served as a special consultant to the National Academy of Sciences and World Health Organization and was a charter member of the National Council for Radiation Protection. Dr. Barnes was also a member of the Health Physics Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He is survived by two sons and a daughter. One son, Dr. John C. Barnes (TEX ′84), is a co-founder of Southwest Texas Veterinary Medical Center, a mixed animal practice in Uvalde. Memorials may be made to Humane Society of Uvalde, Building Fund, P.O. Box 1650, Uvalde, TX 78802; www.hsuvalde.com.

Bobby J. Cargill

Dr. Cargill (TEX ′60), 77, Bryan, Texas, died Sept. 17, 2012. He co-owned El Cerrito Animal Clinic, a small animal practice in Bryan, with his brother, Dr. Howard W. Cargill (TEX ′50), prior to retirement in 1995. Earlier in his career, Dr. Cargill served in the Army Veterinary Corps and practiced mixed animal medicine at Bryan Animal Hospital. He raised club calves and was a member of the steer committee for the Houston Livestock Show for more than 30 years. Dr. Cargill was a past president of the Bryan Young Farmers Association and Brazos County Youth Livestock Association. He was also a past agriculture vice president of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Cargill is survived by his wife, Barbara; a daughter; and a son. His nephew, Dr. Thomas H. Cargill (TEX 77), now owns El Cerrito Animal Clinic. Dr. Cargill's son-in-law, Dr. Michael D. Connolly (TEX ′77), owns Connolly Animal Clinic in Nacogdoches, Texas. His brother-in-law, Dr. T.F. Martin (TEX 71), is a veterinarian in Austin, Texas. Memorials may be made to Central Baptist Church Children's Ministry, 1991 FM 158 Road, College Station, TX 77845; or Brazos County Youth Livestock Association Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 5725, Bryan, TX 77805.

Charles E. Childs

Dr. Childs (WSU ′51), 92, Lancaster, Calif., died June 21, 2012. Retired since 1984, he was the founder of Rialto Animal Hospital, a large animal practice in Rialto, Calif. Following graduation, Dr. Childs served in the Army for a year during the Korean War. During that time, he was accepted into the United Nations Civil Assistance Command of Korea and assisted with vaccinating native cattle, hogs, and chickens, and with the development of a live vaccine to treat an epizootic in cattle. On his return from Korea, Dr. Childs joined the practice of his cousin, the late Dr. Jay Wallis, in Hemet, Calif. In 1959, he moved to Rialto and established his practice. Dr. Childs also served for several years as livestock veterinarian for the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, National Orange Show in San Bernardino, Calif., and Gene Holter's Wild Animal Farm in Riverside, Calif.

He was appointed to the California Rabies Control Committee and the Board of Examiners Complaint Resolution Committee in 1982. In the 1990s, Dr. Childs was part of the Arizona Department of Game and Fish's bighorn sheep capture and relocation project. He was a member of the American Animal Hospital Association and the California, Southern California, Orange Belt, and Sierra VMAs.

Dr. Childs was a past president of the Rialto Chamber of Commerce and Rialto Exchange Club and was active with the Boy Scouts and Indian Guides. He retired from the Army Reserve after 21 years of service with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Dr. Childs is survived by a daughter and two sons. Memorials in his name may be made to the Rialto Exchange Club, P.O. Box 423, Rialto, CA 92376.

Charles M. Coats

Dr. Coats (NCU ′90), 48, Rocky Mount, N.C., died May 6, 2012. A mixed animal practitioner, he owned Coats Veterinary Hospital in Rocky Mount. Dr. Coats' wife, Beth, and two children survive him.

Allan N. Davis

Dr. Davis (CAL ′52), 91, El Cajon, Calif., died April 14, 2012. Prior to retirement, he practiced at El Cajon Valley Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Davis was a veteran of the Air Force and a 50-year member of the El Cajon Rotary Club. His wife, Genevieve, and a daughter survive him.

Ronald D. Davis

Dr. Davis (PUR ′68), 67, Ocala, Fla., died April 30, 2012. He retired in 2004 as a colonel with the Army Veterinary Corps after almost 40 years of service that began when he volunteered under the Early Commissioning Program in 1965. During his military career, Dr. Davis was a base veterinarian, served as a flight instructor, and was involved with food inspection. He accepted a commission in the Army Reserve in the mid-1970s. Dr. Davis was promoted to colonel in 1986, later serving as deputy commander of the corps. During the first Gulf War, he volunteered for active duty and served as an USAR coordinator for the VETCOM commander for 13 months. Dr. Davis received several honors, including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service, Army Commendation, and Humanitarian Service medals. In addition to his military service, in the 1970s Dr. Davis owned a small animal practice in San Diego and owned and co-owned emergency clinics in California at Mission Valley and Fountain Valley. He is survived by his son and daughter. Dr. Davis' former brother-in-law, Dr. Mark W. Coleman (PUR ′68), is a small animal practitioner in Gainesville, Fla.

Howard P. DeYoung

Dr. DeYoung (MSU ′64), 74, Georgetown, Bahamas, died Oct. 10, 2012. He owned Georgetown Small Animal Clinic since 1998. Earlier in his career, Dr. DeYoung owned Bridgeport Veterinary Clinic in Bridgeport, Mich., where he practiced equine and small animal medicine. His wife, Teresa; two sons; and a daughter survive him. Dr. DeYoung's brother, Dr. David J. DeYoung (MSU ′68), retired in 2012 as dean of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Vincent L. Dunlap

Dr. Dunlap (CAL ′68), 69, Paradise, Calif., died April 5, 2012. A small animal practitioner, he owned Whispering Pines Pet Clinic in Magalia, Calif., prior to retirement in 2006. Earlier in his career, Dr. Dunlap owned Skyway Pet Hospital in Paradise. His wife, Susan; three sons; and two daughters survive him. Dr. Dunlap's brother, Dr. Mark A. Dunlap (CAL ′72), owns Skyway Pet Hospital.

Sandra F. Herman

Dr. Herman (UP ′84), 56, Odenton, Md., died June 18, 2012. She was a small animal practitioner.

R. A. Ivie

Dr. Ivie (TEX ′45), 90, Follett, Texas, died Sept. 15, 2012. Prior to retirement, he owned Panhandle Veterinary Clinic, a predominantly large animal practice in Follett, for 42 years. Dr. Ivie also operated a 1,000-head backgrounding lot in Follett and established Panhandle Veterinary Clinics, a partnership of veterinarians and clinics in Follett, Perryton, Spearman, and Beaver, Okla. In retirement, he was a consultant with Panhandle Vet Supply in Childress, Texas.

Dr. Ivie was a past president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and a charter member of the Society for Theriogenology. He helped organize the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, consulted for the food animal program at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, and was a past member of the Texas VMA board of directors. In 1995, Dr. Ivie was honored by the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences with a Distinguished Alumnus Award in the category of food animal medicine.

Active in civic life, he was a charter member of the Follett Hospital Board and served on the Follett School Board of Trustees. His four daughters survive him. Dr. Ivie's brother, Dr. Harold D. Ivie (OKL ′52), is a veterinarian in San Mateo, Calif. Memorials may be made to Follett Educational Corporation, c/o Follett Interbank, P.O. Box 8, Follett, TX 79034.

David E. Jackson

Dr. Jackson (UP ′71), 65, Fairfax, Va., died April 14, 2012. A small animal veterinarian, he served as medical director at University Veterinary Clinic in Fairfax, a practice he founded in 1980 and owned until six years ago. Earlier in his career, Dr. Jackson owned a practice in Alexandria, Va. His wife, Elisabeth, and two sons survive him.

Ralph A. Johnson

Dr. Johnson (MIN ′61), 80, Waconia, Minn., died Sept. 9, 2012. A mixed animal practitioner, he founded Interlaken Centre in Waconia in 1983, focusing on veterinary acupuncture. Dr. Johnson also bred and raised Arabian and reining horses. Early in his career, he practiced in Fairmont, Minn., for 22 years. Dr. Johnson was a member of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Active in civic life, he founded the Waconia Rotary Club and received the Paul Harris Award. Dr. Johnson is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and two sons. One son, Dr. Blake K. Johnson (MIN ′89), co-owns Interlaken Centre.

Jennifer K. Kipling

Dr. Kipling (OSU ′02), 40, Cincinnati, died June 16, 2012.

Patricia A. Payne

Dr. Payne (TEX ′91), 47, Anchorage, Alaska, died July 12, 2012. She practiced small animal medicine at Alaska Veterinary Clinic in Anchorage since 2006. Earlier in her career, Dr. Payne worked in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas of Texas for 15 years.

Holly A. Pohl

Dr. Pohl (WIS ′94), 51, Chicago, died Aug. 21, 2012. A feline practitioner, she worked at Cat Hospital of Chicago since 1998. Earlier in her career, Dr. Pohl practiced at Connecticut Veterinary Center in West Hartford. Memorials, with checks payable to UW Foundation, may be made to Companion Animal Fund, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, 2015 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; www.vetmed.wisc.edu/Programs.153.3.html.

David G. Smokler

Dr. Smokler (TEX ′46), 85, Missouri City, Texas, died April 6, 2012. A bovine practitioner and dairyman, he operated Holtex Farm in Lancaster, Texas, where he bred Holstein cattle. Dr. Smokler was known for his expertise in genetic and artificial breeding and dairy management. He was a past president of Holstein Association USA and Texas Holstein Association. Dr. Smokler is survived by his wife, Rosemary, and three daughters.

Rollin W. Vickery

Dr. Vickery (KSU ′55), 81, Braman, Okla., died Aug. 20, 2012. A large animal practitioner, he owned 7V Ranch in Braman since 1975. Earlier in his career, Dr. Vickery practiced at Blackwell Animal Clinic in Blackwell, Okla. He was a member of the Oklahoma VMA and Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and a past director of the Blackwell Livestock Auction. Dr. Vickery served in the Army from 1955–1957, attaining the rank of 1st lieutenant. He was a member of the Executive Board of the Will Rogers Council Boy Scouts for almost 40 years and was awarded the Silver Beaver Award in 1974. Dr. Vickery was also a past vice president of the Braman School Board, a past secretary-treasurer of the Blackwell Rural Water Board, and a past director of the Blackwell Regional Hospital Board. His wife, Ann; two daughters; and three sons survive him.

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    Veterinary pathologist Dr. Dan Schenkman necropsies a Canada goose with assistance from Stephanie Steinfeldt in one of the National Wildlife Health Center's biosafety level 3 laboratories. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Vector-borne disease researcher Dr. Erik Hofmeister says several questions about West Nile virus remain unanswered, such as factors contributing to the high number of human infections over the summer that took public health officials by surprise. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Chronic wasting disease, Bryan Richards explains, is difficult to manage, because free-ranging cervids can be infected and capable of spreading the disease for nearly a year before having clinical signs of the neurodegenerative illness. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    LeAnn White, PhD, part of the National Wildlife Health Center field investigations team, measures the tarsus of a double-crested cormorant in Minnesota this past July. (Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

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    The National Wildlife Health Center is currently field testing an oral vaccine to protect prairie dogs, the main prey of the endangered black-footed ferret (above), from sylvatic plague. (Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

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    It's unusual that a skin fungus can kill an animal, says Dr. Anne Ballmann, who is studying the pathology of Geomyces destructans, the novel fungus behind the white-nose syndrome epizootic killing millions of North American bats. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    “We have good earth-monitoring systems, good climate-monitoring systems, good public health disease–monitoring systems, but we don't have that same proactive systematic collection of data for wildlife health,” Dr. Jonathan Sleeman said. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Dr. Malathi Raghavan (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Starting in 2010, U.S. veterinarians performed cattle inspections at Mexican stockyards. However, drug violence along the border forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to open five temporary facilities in Texas—at Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo, Pharr, and Presidio. A newly built inspection facility in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has yet to be staffed. (Source: USDA APHIS VS)

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    Dr. G. Kee Jim describes veterinarians' changing roles in cattle practice. He gave the presentation Sept. 20 in Montreal during the annual conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. (Photo by Greg Cima)

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    Dr. Jennifer Walker gives a presentation on the animal welfare views of the public and milk-buying companies as well as veterinarians' roles in ensuring welfare. (Photo by Greg Cima)

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    Dr. Sarah A. Wagner, while closing her presentation on the benefits of hiring veterinary technicians, shows a photo of faculty and staff of the veterinary technology program at North Dakota State University. (Photo by Greg Cima)

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    Dr. Nigel B. Cook (Courtesy of Thomas Bennett)

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    Dr. Nigel B. Cook closes the business and awards luncheon Sept. 22 at the 45th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. (Photo by Greg Cima)

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    Queensland's School of Veterinary Science occupies four recently constructed buildings that house companion animal and equine hospitals, veterinary teaching laboratories, a four-story office and research tower (pictured), and a clinical studies center. (Photos courtesy of University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science)

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    Veterinary students at the University of Queensland work in teams in the 130-seat anatomy laboratory.

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    Dr. Herbert E. Whiteley

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    Dr. H. Michael Chaddock

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    Dr. Gustavo D. Aguirre

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    Dr. Earl P. Aalseth

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    Dr. Roger G. Ellis

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    Dr. Allan M. Britten

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    Dr. W. Mark Hilton

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    Dr. Keith Sterner

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    Dr. Arthur D. Currey

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    Dr. Jennifer A. Hatcher

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    Dr. John B. Herrick

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    Dr. James A. Jarrett

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    Dr. Kurt Schrader

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    Dr. Ted Yoho

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    Harold Davis Jr.

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    Dr. Daniel Fletcher

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    Dr. Robert Goggs

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    Dr. Odette O

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    Dr. Joao Soares

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    Dr. Justin Mathis

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    Dr. Khursheed Mama

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    Erica Mattox

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    Dr. James W. Carpenter