Walther is AVMA president-elect; issues pass


Nashville-Midway into his term as American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) vice president, Dr. Jack O. Walthers becomes the group's 2002-2003 president-elect.

Nashville-Midway into his term as American Veterinary MedicalAssociation (AVMA) vice president, Dr. Jack O. Walthers becomes the group's2002-2003 president-elect.

"Veterinary medicine has always been my heart," Walthers tellsdelegates July 13 at the 139th AVMA Annual Convention in Nashville. "Theidea of being a leader in this profession has always seemed unattainable.I am looking forward to a big and wonderful job the next few years."

Contested race

The House of Delegates (HOD) voted for Walthers, 63, over Dr. Jan Bartels,who has been involved with AVMA for about 27 years. Not since 1995 had morethan one candidate run for the organization's top seat.

A 1963 graduate of the University of California, Davis School of VeterinaryMedicine, Walther served as the Nevada delegate to the AVMA for 10 yearsand is former chair for the AVMA Political Action Committee. He's also servedthe Nevada Veterinary Medical Association and spent 10 years on the state'sboard of veterinary medical examiners.

Walther's presidential agenda includes supporting the National Commissionon Veterinary Economic Issues; promoting globalization, maintaining highveterinary education standards; and fiscal responsibility.

In other action

After three years of debate, delegates passed one of the two positionsup for consideration concerning the induced molting of laying chickens.

The resolution, which states "Induced molting extends the productionlife of commercial chicken flocks, improves long-term flock health and performanceand results in substantial reduction in the number of chickens needed toproduce the nation's egg supply," replaces the current AVMA positionstatement. It also nullifies a competing resolution initiated by the Associationof Veterinarians for Animal Rights.

The American Association of Avian Pathologists and the Association ofAvian Veterinarians back the new position.

Other resolutions to pass include:

A position on pregnant sow housing that's in support of the use of sowhousing configurations that meet AVMA standards. The configurations shouldminimize aggression; protect sows from environmental extremes; reduce hazards;provide access to food and water; and facilitate observation of individualsow health.

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians submitted this resolution.

* A resolution allowing AVMA to prevent promulgation of regulationsand implementation of policies that increase regulatory burden without clearlybenefiting the welfare of animals or protecting the food supply and/or publicat large. The AVMA also will promote the veterinary expertise of its membersand their right to exercise professional judgment and treatment of animalsunder their charge.

The American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners submitted thisresolution.

* A resolution to print a photographic roster of the HOD anddistribute it to all new members.

The Alabama Veterinary Medical Association submitted this resolution.Traditionally the roster is posted only on the AVMA Web site.

* A resolution to recognize and commend veterinary volunteerefforts on and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, highlighting the nation'sVeterinary Medical Assistance Teams.

The position is backed by New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvaniastate associations.

* A resolution to commend active and reserve component veterinariansof the uniformed services of the United States of America deployed sinceSept. 11 in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Noble Eagle and OperationEnduring Freedom.

The District of Columbia Veterinary Medical Association, Delaware andPennsylvania state veterinary medical associations, National Associationof Food Hygiene Veterinarians and National Association of Federal Veterinarianssubmitted this resolution.

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