American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians:  PRESIDENTS REPORT  2003-04

 

The following has been provided to the AAWV officers, council and member as a summary of important issues, accomplishments and milestones of the year beginning on August 12, 2003.  It should also serve as the Wildlife Veterinary Sections report to the Wildlife Disease Association for the same time period.

 

Following the 2003 annual meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (see Fall 2003 AAWV Newsletter of AAWV Website for the minutes of this meeting) an AAWV Council was chosen with an eye toward representation of the broad spectrum of backgrounds and activities of our membership (as reported in the Fall 2003 AAWV Newsletter).  Dr. Bill Lance agreed to chair the AAWV Council.  Of the several priority issues that needed attention the most critical was membership which had dropped to a little over 100 paid up for 2003.  With the help of other AAWV officers and members, past members were contacted by phone and e-mail, a letter inviting past members to renew was written and several hundred were mailed out.  Veterinarians with a history or interest in free-ranging wildlife but who had not become members were also contacted by phone and e-mail.  The response was rapid and positive and by the end of calendar year 2003 membership had increased to over 200.  Most members renewed for 2004 and current membership stands at 270 (all categories) with at well over 200 veterinarians.       

 

The management of feral cats, their impacts on wildlife and the involvement of the veterinary profession in trap, neuter and reabandonment (or release) programs had become a very hot issue.  A paper entitled “The Welfare of Feral Cats and Wildlife“ was presented at the AVMA Animal Welfare Forum in Chicago in November, one of six invited presentations, 3 of which supported TNR and 3 of which opposed TNR.  Although there were many representatives of feral cat advocacy organizations present at the meeting, most reactions were positive or at least appreciative of perspectives they had not fully appreciated.  This presentation has formed the basis for a refereed publication that will appear in JAVMA in the Fall/Winter of 2004.  In addition three “letters to the editor” were written and published by JAVMA, two of them identifying the author as President of AAWV.  

    

The 2003 annual meeting was dominated by the discussion of potential future affiliations and the report of the ad hoc committee appointed by AAWV President Terry Kreeger.  In the Winter of 2004, when the above two issues had been dealt with, the Ad Hoc Committee on Affiliations was reconstituted with some additions and deletions to better reflect the views of the membership and a new committee report was written.  This report and articles discussing the pros and cons of AAWV’s affiliation options were reported in AAWV Winter and Spring Newsletters and posted on AAWV’s website.  The constitutional requirements pertinent to the changes each side had recommended were reviewed by AAWV Officers and Council.  A ballot and voting procedures were developed and a ballot was mailed out to all active members (those paying dues by June 1, 2004) on or around July 1.  Voting will end and the ballots will be counted after the close of the annual meeting on September 2, 2004.  

 

AAWV has been politically and professionally active on a number of others fronts:  AAWV has agreed to work with AAZV, AARV, AAV, IAAAM and other organizations in developing a comprehensive position paper on euthanasia for wild animals.  Dr. David Miller, an AAWV member, is organizing this large effort for AAZV and the other groups and Dr. Mark Drew has agreed to head up AAWV’s contributions.  This position paper will be provided to AVMA to help inform their review of current euthanasia guidelines and will be published as a stand alone paper in Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.

 

Wildlife veterinarians had a strong presence at the October USAHA meeting in San Diego and through our position as a National Allied Organization with a vote on the

USAHA Board of Directors we have some influence over national animal health policy.

 

We were able to help prepare testimony for AVMA President Dr. Jack Walther who addressed Congress in support of CWD funding for State and tribal wildlife agencies.

 

Information was provided to Dr. Bennie Osborn, Dean of the U.C. Davis Veterinary School and chairman of the Council of Veterinary School Deans supporting the case for more residencies for wildlife veterinarians.

 

We sent a letter to Dr. Ron DeHaven the Director of USDA supporting and asking for further consideration of inclusion of more veterinarians in the National  Wildlife Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response System of  USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services.

 

A letter was sent to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman supporting the National Veterinary Services Act and the inclusion of wildlife veterinarians in it and AAWV members were encouraged to send their own letters (Spring 2004 Newsletter).

 

Four editions of the AAWV Newsletter, two of them double size, were published.  Colin Gillin took over as AAWV Webmaster and the AAWV website was moved from the USGS-NWHC server to a commercial server.  Colin, who has recently taken a job with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will be able to more directly control the website.  Our website is getting a significant amount of use, 130-200 hits per day.

 

AAWV will be one of the co-organizers of the joint meetings of the WDA, AAZV and AAWV in San Diego, CA August 28-September 3, 2004.  A USDA grant in the amount of $5000 to support student attendance at the joint meetings was secured by AAWV on behalf of all three organizations. The meetings keynote speaker, Dr. Rick Ostfeld is being provided by AAWV as this years “Cutting Edge” speaker.  We have organized 3 workshops, one of which Wildlife Pharmaceuticals is supporting, we will have 2 major sessions in the scientific program.  We will begin our annual business meeting at noon Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004 and finish it after our afternoon sessions.  Hope to see you there.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

David A. Jessup  

President AAWV

 

Treasurers Report

 

Overall, the financial health of the AAWV remains good.  While it appears that the overall expenses slightly exceeded income, due to the payment this fiscal period for expenses incurred on several newsletters that were not previously billed, a more accurate estimate of the yearly expenses is approximately $6,800.00.  Additional expense line items (aside from those listed) anticipated in the coming year includes reimbursement for the Cutting Edge speaker for the 2004 meeting and, possibly, costs associated with movement of the AAWV website to a commercial server.  These costs will most likely be offset, however, by income generated by the combined meeting in San Diego, as well as income generated by the wetlabs at the same meeting.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Michael Ziccardi

Treasurer, AAWV

 

AAWV Expense Report (From 9/1/03 to 8/1/04)

 

 

PREVIOUS BALANCE

$27,917.16

 

 

INCOME

 

 

Interest Income

$22.37

 

Membership Dues

$7,150.00

 

 

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TOTAL INCOME

$7,172.37

 

 

 

EXPENSES

 

 

Bank Charge

$1.00

 

Display Costs (Shipping)

$54.00

 

Gifts Given (President's Plaque)

$106.75

 

Newsletter Layout (6 issues)

$1,812.50

 

Newsletter Mailing (5 issues)

$1,227.64

 

Newsletter Printing (5 issues)

$3,481.34

 

Misc. Office Expenses

$39.47

 

Organizational Dues (USAHA)

$600.00

 

Other Mailing

$97.15

 

Travel (President)

$364.98

 

Website Costs

$34.99

 

 

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TOTAL EXPENSES

$7,819.82

 

 

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OVERALL TOTAL

$27,269.71