AABP moves to adopt 'down cow' policy


AABP convention attendance gains ground

Madison, Wis.-The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) moved to adopt a "down cow" position statement that recommends humane treatment for any animal disabled.

The adoption of the position was one of several measures taken at itsannual meeting in September.

The down cow statement originated with the American Veterinary MedicalAssociation (AVMA), and the action by AABP's board of directors added aneeded position to its books.

Dr. Jim Reynolds, chair of AABP's animal welfare committee, says thatthe committee recommended passage of the AVMA policy and it will help guideits members and producer groups in handling disabled livestock.

The new policy gives practitioners and producers guidance in handlingambulatory animals and non-ambulatory animals.

The policy says, "If an otherwise healthy animal has been recentlyinjured and the animal is ambulatory, it should be treated, shipped directlyto a state of federally inspected slaughter plant, humanely slaughteredon the farm (where state laws permit) or euthanized. Injured ambulatoryanimals should not be commingled with other animals during transport."

The policy also states that care should be taken during loading, unloadingand handling of these animals to prevent further injury.

For non-ambulatory downed animals, the producer should contact a veterinarianfor assistance and provide food, water, shelter and appropriate nursingcare to keep the animal comfortable.

For nonterminal markets (sale yard or auction), if the animal is in extremedistress and the condition is obviously irreversible, the animal shouldbe euthanized immediately or humanely slaughtered on the farm.

If the animal is down at a market, but in extreme distress, treatmentmeasures should be initiated. For animals in extreme distress, the animalshould be humanely euthanized or slaughtered.

The AABP's animal welfare committee also reviewed and endorsed "caringfor dairy animals" technical reference and evaluation guide from theDairy Quality Assurance Center.

Scholarships awarded

Dr. David McClary reports the association doled out $21,000 for the AmstutzScholarship program. AABP awarded 14 third-year veterinary students $1,500scholarships because of their interest in pursuing bovine veterinary medicine.

These awards are paid by The Amstutz Scholarship Fund, Eli Lilly &Co. Foundation on behalf of Elanco Animal Health and private donations.

McClary says the scholarship was created to spur interest in bovine veterinarymedicine, and it is working. In fact, Dr. Jennifer M. Ivany, an AABP scholarshipcommittee member, put together a survey of past recipients. Out of 30 respondents,five veterinarians are in dairy practice, and another seven practitionersare in mixed animal practice. Three of the respondents are at universities,but half of the respondents were not yet working. More than half of therespondents said the scholarship helped them with expenses during the year.To date, the organization has awarded $120,000 to scholarship recipients,McClary says.

Numbers up

According to Dr. Jim Jarrett, executive vice president of AABP, totalattendance was logged at about 2,100, with 1,300 veterinarians. About 10countries were represented, and the conference boasted 360 total hours ofcontinuing education for practitioners.

So, what's in the works for next year? Conference planners are currentlyworking on a pain management symposium for 2003 meeting in Columbus, Ohio,Sept. 18-20.

Dr. Patty Scharko was also named president of the association. She succeedsDr. Kent Ames to the post.

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