The annual AVMA Convention and House of Delegates meeting just concluded in Denver, Colorado. The House of Delegates had a full agenda; debating nine resolutions, one house manual change, two Veterinary Information Forum (VIF) topics, and the election of a new President-Elect and council members.
Resolutions and Results
- Resolution 10—Safeguarding Care for Animals with Veterinarian-Led Teams This resolution was adopted as amended. Washington voted in favor of this resolution as amended.
- Resolution 11—Supersede Policy on Canine Devocalization This resolution was adopted. Washington voted in favor of this resolution.
- Resolution 12—Revised Policy on Docking of Lambs’ Tails This resolution was adopted as amended. Washington voted in favor of this resolution.
- Resolution 13—Revised Policy on Tail Docking of Cattle This resolution was adopted. Washington voted in favor of this resolution.
- Resolution 14—New Policy on Sheep and Goat Castration This resolution was referred back to Board of Directors for further consideration by the Animal Welfare Committee. Washington voted in favor of referring this back to the Animal Welfare Committee.
- Resolution 15—New Policy on Sheep and Goat Disbudding and Dehorning This resolution was referred to Board of Directors for further consideration by the Animal Welfare Committee. Washington voted in favor of referring this back to the Animal Welfare Committee.
- Resolution 16—Revised Policy on Physical Restraint of Animals This resolution was adopted as amended. Washington voted in favor of this resolution as amended
- Resolution 17—New Policy on Canine Hybrids This resolution was adopted as amended. Washington voted in favor of this resolution as amended
- Resolution 18 – Statement to the Profession This resolution was adopted as amended. Washington voted in favor of this resolution as amended
VIF Topics and Results
VIF Topic—Spectrum of Care: The Why and Barriers to Implementation: This VIF topic was referred to the Board of Directors for consideration on the following actions: additional investigation, collaboration with stakeholders, coping potential research needs, consideration of development policy or position statements, and member resource development.
VIF Topic—Sustainability in Veterinary Medicine: The Greening of Veterinary Workplaces: This VIF topic was referred to the Board of Directors to develop a best practice list regarding sustainability, explore collaboration with other One Health stakeholders and academic institutions regarding sustainability, develop a Sustainable Practices Certificate, review internal processes and systems of AVMA to increase sustainability.
- Vice President: No election, Jennifer Quammen enters 2nd year as VP
- President Elect: Sandra Faeh Butler was voted as AVMA next President Elect.
- House Advisory Committee: Juan Amierio, Lindy O’Neal, Theresa Kelliher, and Doug McIinnis ran for the HAC vacancies. All four candidates were voted into the HAC position.
- Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents – Microbiology: Melissa Bourgeois
- Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents – Private Clinical Practice Predominately Equine: Steven Dow
- Council on Public Health – Human Health: Sara McReynolds
- Council on Public Health – Animal Health: Sara Margrey, ONE VACANCY REMAINS
- Council on Research – Private Clinical Practice: Miles Theurer
- Council on Research – Veterinary Medical Research: Kathryn Shelton, Philippe Baneux, Charley Cull, Mila Kundu
- Council on Veterinary Service – Private Practice – Predominately Equine: Barbara Crabbe
- Council on Veterinary Service – Private Practice – Predominately Food Animal: Lacy Fahrmeier
- President Elect: Michal Bailey announced his candidacy for President Elect.
- Vice President: Elisabeth Boggier & Gary Marshall announced their candidacy for Vice President.
AVMA Treasurer, Arnie Goldman, is finishing his tenure as treasurer. Jon Pennell will take over as treasurer at the end of this meeting. Dr. Goldman offered a 6-year snapshot since he took office in 2017. Since that time, AVMA has experienced an increase in non-dues revenue, up 54% or $7million dollars. In that same time, AVMA grew total revenue by 34% or 12.7million. Membership grew by 12% or nearly 11k members
The AVMA‘s current operating net income is 2.7MM, broken down into an investment revenue of 9.8MM and approved strategic initiatives of 2.2MM with a total impact on overall bottom line loss of 9.3MM. This loss was driven exclusively by investment non-performance. AVMA programming with continue as normal since AVMA keeps 100% operating revenue for 12 months in reserve. The 2023 projected net operating income is 958k, investment revenue 5.8MM, approved strategic initiatives 3.0MM, with a projected total impact on overall bottom line 2.8MM in the black. If projections prove accurate, the total impact will be far better than that.
Governmental Relations Division
Combating Illicit Xylazine act: The AVMA supported the Combating Illicit Xylazine Act which would help combat the emergency threat posed by illicit xylazine while protecting veterinary access to this important animal sedative. The bill’s provisions would equip law enforcement with additional tools to stop xylazine trafficking while maintaining veterinary ability to legitimately use xylazine.
Federal advocacy overview:
- Rural Veterinary Workforce Act: VMLRP under a new name. Under tax extender package
- Farm bill: Discussions are heating up surrounding this bill, specifically the reauthorization for animal health lab network, national animal defense preparedness response program, veterinary services grant program and a number of research programs.
- Heathy Dog Importation Act: The goal will be to get this folded into farm bill.
- Appropriations: AVMA has been successful for obtaining funds for programs and maintaining funding rather than taking cuts.
AVMA Ambassador Program: This program connects veterinarians directly with members of Congress, mobilizing local, individual leaders. Ambassadors visit with lawmakers in their home state, building and nurturing relationships and ensuring that legislators hear directly from constituent veterinarians about issues that are important to the profession.
AVMA Legislative Fly In: This was a very successful Fly-In. The AVMA regularly hosts legislative fly-in events that bring veterinarians and veterinary students to Washington, D.C., for hands-on advocacy experience. Participants receive in-depth briefings about the top policy issues affecting veterinary medicine and meet with their members of Congress to advocate on those issues. These important events ensure that the voice of the veterinary profession is amplified on Capitol Hill.
Fondly nicknamed the Professional Advocacy Committee, the AVMA PAC enjoyed more contributions and contributors allowing the 2021-2022 election cycle to be the best yet. However, only 2% of AVMA membership donates. This is a low number compared to other large associations (Like ADA), which typically boast a 10-20% donation rate. WE can do better. Within the last election cycle $205,000 was given to members of congress. AVMA would like to remind you that we are not buying votes, rather we are buying access to a space where we can deliver our message. The AVMA PAC is a non-partisan organization that supports candidates from both parties that are advocates for veterinary initiatives.
The AVMA Trust has been serving members for over six decades offering protection for students, personal coverage for members and family, and now with three important programs for practice owners and practices of all sizes including group health care, retirement, voluntary employee benefits such as life insurance. The Trust is now offering webinars covering a wide range of topics such as the importance of record keeping, avoiding medication errors, obtaining owner consent, cyberbullying and many more.
Presidential advisory council on combating on antibiotic resistance bacteria – Antimicrobial resistance is a complex interconnected problem that requires a holistic and interdisciplinary approach. This is the federal government’s response to combat bacterial resistance: Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019.
As always, it is our honor and privilege to represent the veterinarians of Washington. We welcome your questions, comments, and feedback.
By Dr. Diana Thomé and Dr. Gary Marshall, Washington’s AVMA Delegate and Alternate Delegate