Q1 2024 AVMA House of Delegates Report

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By Debra Nickelson D.V.M., MBA

AAIV Delegate

The House of Delegates for the AVMA met during the Veterinary Leadership Symposium early January in Chicago. For once it was rather nice outside! The American Association of Industry Veterinarians is represented by myself and Dr. Tim Smaha. Please send any comments or questions to AAIV at industryvets@gmail.com. As always, thank you for your support and we are here for you.  

Candidates and Elections

  • Dr. Michael Q. Bailey is running unopposed for AVMA President-Elect 2024-2025
  • Dr. Gary Marshall is running unopposed for AVMA Vice President 2024-2026
  • These individuals were elected due to running unopposed:
    • Dr. Bridget Eichos – Council on Public Health
    • Dr. Lloyd Reitz – Council on Research, private practice
    • Dr. Jessica Fox – Council on Veterinary Service, private mixed practice
    • Dr. Kristin Haas – Council on Public Health


There were six resolutions brought forward to the House of Delegates for review. Such resolutions are brought to the House if a new policy is created, an existing policy needs rewording or if the Board of Directors determines the policy to be pertinent. The official AVMA summary is Delegates update AVMA policies on diets for cats and dogs, animal loss support services | American Veterinary Medical Association but my summary follows.

A new policy on Mitigating Hazards in the Veterinary Workplace was referred back to the Board of Directors. The goal was to combine the policy on Guidelines for Addressing Hazards in the Workplace and the policy on Veterinary Facility Occupational Risks for Pregnant Workers. It was determined that the wording in this combination needed more work.

A revised policy on Safe Non-Commercial Transport of Pets in Motor Vehicles passed after some minor amendments. There was much discussion about different cultures, economic challenges, services animals, etc. but it was determined that this is a statement and  recommendation, not a requirement. 

A revised policy on Dog and Cat Population Management passed after four amendments. This resolution stressed the need for awareness and education to reduce relinquishment, the importance of sterilization of privately owned dogs and cats, preventing unrestricted or unsupervised outdoor access, preventing or managing behavior issues and how to keep pets in the home. And appropriate veterinary care, of course.

A revised policy on Safety Testing was passed to emphasize the need to refine, reduce and replace live animals in research.

A revised policy on Raw or Undercooked Animal-Source Protein in Dog and Cat Diets passed. It emphasizes that alternative methods that reduce or eliminate the risk of illness due to pathogenic contaminants may be considered. This does not include the feeding of unpasteurized, same-species milk to nursing young.

A revised policy on Animal Loss Support Groups passed so the AVMA backs support services for people anticipating or dealing with the loss of animals. The AVMA needs to continue its efforts to address the psychological impacts of humane endings.

Other Topics

The AVMA is seeking comments on the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics and Model Veterinary Practice Act until March 4, 2024

Comment on the updated DRAFT Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics | American Veterinary Medical Association (avma.org)

This was not discussed during the meeting, but there is a call for comments on veterinary technician educational standards until April 15, 2024.

Call for comments opens: Veterinary technician educational standards | American Veterinary Medical Association (avma.org)

Also, please see the background information for Future Veterinary Workforce Needs, Veterinary Mid-Level Position and Telehealth and the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship. These topics may become a resolution in the future and we need your opinion in case they come up for a vote:

Workforce-Data-Background-20231230.pdf (avma.org)   Veterinary-Position-Background-20231230.pdf (avma.org)   Telemedicine-VCPR-Background-20231230.pdf (avma.org)    

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