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Governmental Affairs Committee Update

Government Affairs CommitteeHowdy!  My name is Joe Pluhar, your Government Affairs Committee Chairperson for the next year.  GAC is excited about the upcoming year.  We seek to inform SAVMA members on a variety of topics and opportunities concerning government and policy and to provide information on a plethora of sources to further independent investigation. Our goal for the year is simple: we want to engage more students in the legislative and policy making process.

As a majority, we embarked on our journey into veterinary medicine because our innate interests did not lie in politics or business.   We chose veterinary medicine so we could follow our passions for animal health, scientific research, and public health.  However, in today’s climate that is simply not enough.  Veterinary medicine is at the forefront of an abundance of policy issues both locally and nationally.  The public is begging for answers and if veterinarians don’t speak up for themselves and animals, someone else will.  There are plenty of organizations and movements who are willing to fill the void left if veterinarians choose not to stand up.  Some of these organizations values and ideals are in line with mainstream veterinary medicine, but some are not.  We need to become more educated and engaged as a profession because it is up to us to tell our story.

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South Africa and Wildlife

If you are interested in wildlife, natural science or just travelling this is a great opportunity. The application deadline is Oct 20. 
The International Symposium on Wildlife Utilization in South Africa (ISWU) is a biennial symposium dealing with veterinary involvement in wildlife management. It serves as a platform for leading speakers, both local and international, in the fields of Veterinary and Natural Sciences, to address veterinary students on a host of wildlife management topics and the role of the veterinarian in wildlife utilization.

Veterinary students worldwide are invited to attend this exhilarating symposium which will run from July 1-17, 2011. If you have any questions please check out the website or email

AVMA Student Externship in Washington D.C.!

The AVMA is excited to offer the AVMA Student Externship Program to all students who will have completed their second year of study by May 2011.  That's right students, you don't have to be a fourth year to take advantage of this externship.  Students will get an opportunity to actively participate in the legislative process, meet veterinarians working on Capitol Hill, and get to experience our nation's capital.

Deadline:  October 8, 2010

What:  AVMA provides a $1,200 stipend for a 4 week externship

Where:  AVMA Government Relations Division, Washington, D.C.

When:  There are several blocks available for next year, check out the link below

All information is available on the website.  This is a great opportunity to positively impact animal health, veterinary medicine, and veterinary students while gaining an insiders prospective to the legislative process.  



Emerging Issues Committee Newsletter


Emerging Veterinary & Animal Health Issues

August 2010



 Study links evolution with increased risk of rabies infection in bats Live Sciences

 Pet foods can put people at risk for Salmonella Associated Press

Mandatory ID for livestock being discussed by USDA The Billings Gazette

The food of love now (ironically) threatened by herpes in Europe National Geographic

Equine Infectious Anemia found in Missouri Horse Kansas City Infozine

Congressman seeks to make 2011 World Veterinary Year Oregon Live

Gulf oil Spill could still threaten millions of migratory birds National Geographic

Senate to consider food safety bill by end of year ABC News

British pet owners abandon pet insurance over rising premiums The Daily Mail (London)


Humor in Medicine

Wildlife cleaning volunteer stuck with the gulls again The Onion



AVMA Student Externship Locator – Trying to find a great veterinary experience while also enjoying some time away from your vet school?  Try out the AVMA externship locator, which lists externships by state and area of interest.



New York Becomes Second State to Propose Bill Banning Tail Docking in Cattle

(This may be a little late on the news front, but still worth knowing)

By: Erin Lashnits

Cornell University, Class of 2012

A bill to prohibit tail docking in cattle was introduced in the New York State Assembly in January. 

     This ban comes on the heals of a recent report by ABC Nightline, in which a video recorded by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals showed tail docking and dehorning, as well as sick and injured cows, excessively dirty living conditions, and improper handling of cattle.  The video was recorded during an undercover investigation of a 5,000 head New York dairy farm.  The segment also included a heavily edited interview with Chris Galen, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) spokesperson, but did not show footage of other farm sources provided to ABC by Dairy Management, Inc.

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