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HOD Revises Antimicrobials in Livestock Feeds Policy

05 February 2009

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

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

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

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

Also of note, the HOD disapproved a Bylaws amendment that would have sunset the AVMA Council on Communications. The drive to end the council started with a recommendation from the AVMA Governance Performance Review Committee. This past November the Executive Board agreed that the communications council had lost its direction and approved the proposal to sunset the entity. The HOD disagreed with the board's recommendation, however, and voted down the Bylaws change needed to end the council. Delegates who spoke against the proposal commended the AVMA Communications Division for its work but said they consider the council a vital vehicle for member input on the Association's message topics.

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

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

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

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