In This Issue
Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence
Deadline for Public Comment on IDPR Rule Nears
Weighing The Threat of Avian Flu
Animal Welfare League in Need of Medical
ISVMA Convention Highlights
for ISVMA Convention
Discussions Continue on Assessment of Veterinary
Education Equivalence (courtesy
Association of Veterinary State Boards and the AVMA are pleased to report on
continued discussions regarding the certification of foreign-educated
veterinarians seeking licensure in the United States.
Currently, the AAVSB
operates its Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence,
and the AVMA operates its Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary
Graduates program. Both are designed to assist state veterinary regulatory
boards in assessing the educational qualifications of foreign-trained
graduates. In most jurisdictions, the educational requirement can be met by
graduating from an AVMA-accredited school or by earning an ECFVG certificate.
Twelve regulatory boards have also adopted PAVE.
To avoid duplicative
efforts and address perceived legal concerns, the AAVSB and AVMA entered into
a dialogue to discuss the goals and concerns of the two associations
surrounding veterinary educational standards. This dialogue culminated in the
AAVSB and AVMA appointing three representatives each from the PAVE Board and
the ECFVG to discuss the desirability and feasibility of developing a single
met twice in 2003 and recommended that legal counsel from the two
associations meet with an independent attorney to determine the feasibility,
and in particular, the legal feasibility, of continuing discussions regarding
the development of a single, independent program. The three attorneys met
Nov. 5, and in early December, submitted their report.
The attorneys' report
indicated that "the meeting was collegial" and the discussion was
"far ranging and candid." Although "legal counsel did not
identify any insuperable legal obstacles to the creation of a new,
independent certification organization," neither the AVMA nor AAVSB
attorney "recommends or opposes the creation of such an
acknowledged "important policy and economic considerations … would have
to be addressed and resolved in creating a new organization or in fashioning
any alternative to the present situation." In conclusion, counsel are
"of the opinion that the policy, governance and financial issues need to
be addressed first and that any legal issues will be better defined and may
be better addressed after these fundamentals are resolved."
graduates of non-accredited institutions is an important issue for the
veterinary profession, regulatory boards, and the public. As such, the AVMA
and AAVSB appreciate the efforts and commitment of the ECFVG and PAVE Board
representatives. The two associations agree they did a remarkable job in
gathering a tremendous amount of information. Their effort was the first of
many steps toward the possibility of a single, independent veterinary
educational equivalence assessment program.
Opportunity to Comment
on Proposed Rule Change to Practice Act Expires on February 2, 2004
Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (DPR) recently published
a proposed rule change in the Illinois Register (dated 12/19/03) to
amend the veterinary practice act to recognize the Program for
Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE) for graduates of
non-accredited schools/colleges of veterinary medicine. Please see:
pg. 18955 for the full text of the proposed rule change. The public
has 45 days from the date of publication (i.e. until 2/4/04) to
comment. The proposed rule change is also posted on the DPR Web site:
choose to comment on these proposed rules, please send your comments by
Department of Professional Regulation
the Threat of Avian Flu (courtesy Newsday.com)
influenza has been identified in 10 countries in Asia,
forcing the destruction of poultry flocks and killing 10 people. Scientists
are trying to determine just how dangerous it may be to humans.
Q: Why is the World Health Organization concerned about the potential
for a human pandemic?
A: Someone in Asia could contract the
avian flu and normal human flu simultaneously -- and the avian flu could take
genetic material from the human viruses and turn into a human-to-human
transmissible agent. The sloppy way influenza reproduces itself makes the
exchange of genes possible.
Q: How bad would that be?
A: Scientists say it could be severe. Both jet travel and the rise of
densely populated urban areas contribute to swift infection. In 1918-1919,
the flu claimed 40 million to 50 million lives in 18 months. In 1995, the
National Institutes of Health and the WHO met to figure out what would happen
if such a pandemic occurred today. They concluded that even if it were
possible to spot a new virus and swiftly make seed stock for vaccine
production, it would take six months to produce millions of doses -- enough
to protect only a small percentage of the world's population.
Q: Under United Nations agencies' guidance, Asian nations are slaughtering
millions of chickens and ducks. Will this stop the problem?
A: The agencies argue that preventing a larger outbreak requires
destroying tens of millions of animals. Though "ring isolation,"
infected animals are identified and all poultry on farms within about 2 miles
Q: What are the chances this virus will infect flocks in the United States?
A: Both the European Union and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have
taken steps to limit importation of poultry and exotic birds from Asia. In general, chickens that end up in American
grocery stores are from U.S.
or Canadian poultry operations.
Regardless of the origin of the meat, WHO officials insist, it is not
possible to catch avian flu by eating chickens. The virus can be transmitted
only from a live chicken, or its blood, urine or feces.
Q: Why are we seeing influenza in birds?
A: Influenzas of all kinds are routinely carried by aquatic migratory
birds, such as ducks and geese, without harm. Chickens and ducks are exposed
when the virus is passed in the fowls' feces and urine -- and sometimes these
viruses can be dangerous to the domestic birds, as appears to be the case
with this strain. Though chickens have a primitive immune system, it appears
inadequate against a virulent form of influenza.
Q: Why isn't the bird flu virus automatically dangerous to people?
A: Bird viruses don't generally cause epidemics in humans because they
lack genetic factors required to invade human cells. A dangerous infection
that can be transmitted person to person requires at least two known
characteristics. One is neuraminidase, an enzyme the virus uses to pinch off
bits of animals' cells to wrap the virus, allowing it to escape into the
bloodstream. Some neuraminidase chemicals are only efficient in birds cells; others work well in human cells. The second
is a chemical called haemagglutinin; some forms
perform better on human red blood cells; some only work on bird cells.
Q: How hard has the virus hit humans so far?
A: Fewer than a dozen cases in people have been confirmed by lab
tests, and there is so far no evidence that the virus can spread from one
person to another.
Q: How do flu viruses in migratory fowl begin to infect other animals?
A: Almost all new influenza strains originate in China, where
farms tend to be packed densely. Pigs and ducks are generally present and can
be aggressive, fighting over turf and food. Ducks, which got the virus from
migratory birds, pass it on to the pigs -- whose genetic factors help the
virus mutate into a mammalian form, serving as a "viral mixing
Q: How does this mutation happen?
A: Influenza is a large RNA virus composed of eight chromosomes. Flu
genes are packed in a sloppy manner, and when the virus replicates, it often
absorbs genetic material from its host animal.
These mutated forms arising from pigs have been called "swine flu"
-- the flu pandemic of 1918 was one. In 1976, the United
States had a swine flu scare following the death of an
18-year-old undergoing basic training at Fort Dix, N.J.
The administration of President Gerald Ford tried to inoculate every
American, and an epidemic never materialized. (But the vaccine may have
caused a rare neurological effect, Guillain-Barre
syndrome, in a small percentage of recipients.)
Q: If this avian flu becomes transmissible from human to human, would
anyone be immune?
A: The human immune system "remembers" influenza viruses it
has seen before. In 1918, very few elderly contracted the virus or died of
it. Scientists believe a similar form of flu may have circulated in 1889,
accounting for the apparent immunity of older populations.
Welfare League in Need of Medical Donations
16, 2003, the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture shut down a puppy mill breeding
operation in Amboy, Illinois. Over 176 dogs were confiscated from
horrific conditions. Most of these
were German Shepherd Dogs. There were
also Great Danes, Belgian Malinois, Belgian
Sheepdog and several Japanese Chin. Dogs were chained to trees and posts, most
without any type of shelter at all.
There were no bowls for water/food and all of the animals were
emaciated. There were crates lined up
in the back yard with dogs living in them, some were adult bitches w/litters
of puppies. They were literally on top
of each other, swimming in liquid feces/urine. Many had feet/pads frostbitten and some had
feet that were frozen to the ground. 9
dogs died before the rescue could be completed. In the trailer home, over 60 animals were
found, literally on top one another.
The stench was unbearable. All
had diarrhea from whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms. All had coccidian and were stiff from hard,
dried feces down to the skin. The
entire situation was almost incomprehensible.
The animals have been removed and with the exception of 22 that are in
a rescue (with sarcoptic mange), all are legally
retained at the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge, Illinois.
The AWL is a non-profit
organization that relies on donations.
For the most part, they function day to day fairly well, with regular
adoption fees and donations funding their program. However, overnight, they had 176 animals
checked in from Amboy, many that required immediate Veterinary care, 9 dead,
and the rest very, very ill. The
amount of antibiotics they are going through is astronomical, as well as Panacur, Droncit and Albon. They have
operated on several dogs’ feet, removing the dead tissues and frozen pads
from the frostbite. These require
daily bandage changing. They will be
spaying/neutering every one of these animals before they leave the facility
to go in to rescue so surgical supplies are needed.
Please consider donating something
to the AWL for the Amboy dogs. The
adult dogs are all on Nutro and the puppies are on
Science Diet. They are in desperate
need of antibiotics, surgical supplies, wormers and Albon. Any donation you could provide would be
very much appreciated. If you have any
questions, or have something you would like to have transported, you can
contact Sherry Ryan at 217-785-4753 or 217-626-2310, or through my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Sales Tax Application Confusing Your Staff?
you forgotten or put off registering for the ISVMA Convention? You’ll want to
register on-line immediately if you are concerned about the rumors of sales
tax audits and their implications for veterinary practices. George Sorensen,
recently retired counsel for the Illinois Department of Revenue and noted
expert on sales tax application in Illinois,
will be speaking on Friday February 13 at the ISVMA Convention. He plans on
discussing sales tax issues and will address many rumors regarding veterinary
practice audits. This is going to be an informative discussion and could be
of great value to your practice!
for convention by visiting http://www.isvma.org/registration.htm.