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AKC creates canine health and welfare advisory panel


New York -- The American Kennel Club (AKC) organized a new AKC Canine Health and Welfare Advisory Panel.

New York

-- The American Kennel Club (AKC) organized a new AKC Canine Health and Welfare Advisory Panel.

The panel's goal will be "to provide factual and impartial information by creating a forum for proactive discourse based on scientific and ethical concerns," according to a media release.

"The AKC hopes to strengthen opportunities for the public to admire, love and own purebred dogs and to foster greater public education about health concerns relevant to all dogs."

The announcement follows the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) meeting this month, where ear cropping and tail docking were the topics of much conversation.

In November 2008, the AVMA Executive Board amended the association's policy on the procedures, strengthening its stance against them and angering the AKC.

The Utah Veterinary Medical Association (UVMA) submitted a resolution asking the House of Delegates to take a more tolerant stance. The measure, supported by the AKC, was voted down by the House.

The 12-member panel includes:Sandra Barker, PhD, NCC, LPC, director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityJerold Bell, DVM, clinical associate professor of genetics, Deptartment of Clinical Sciences, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary MedicineEdmund Dziuk, COO, Orthopedic Foundation For Animals, Columbia, Miss.John Hamil, DVM, Canyon Animal Hospital, Laguna Beach, Calif.Joan Hendricks, VMD, PhD, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary MedicineLinda Lord, DVM, MS, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State UniversityColleen O'Keefe, DVM, MS, division manager, Food Safety & Animal Protection, Illinois Department of AgriculturePatricia Olson, DVM, PhD, president and CEO, Morris Animal FoundationElaine Ostrander, PhD, chief and senior investigator, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health (pending)Frances Smith, DVM, PhD, chair and president, board of directors, Orthopedic Foundation For Animals, Columbia, Miss.; Smith Veterinary Hospital Inc., Burnsville, Minn.

Also joining the panel will be AKC board members Patricia H. Haines, DVM, and Alan Kalter. AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung will participate as an ex-officio member.

The AKC did not mention the recent ear cropping/tail docking policy debate.

"This impressive group offers a wide range of credentials and knowledge that will be a tremendous resource regarding information on canine health issues that affect all dogs," says Ron Menaker, AKC chairman.

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