123rd U.S. Animal Health Association Meeting Kicks Off
The United States Animal Health Association (USAHA), the nation's animal health forum for over a century, is holding its 123rd annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, from Oct. 24-30. It is held in conjunction with the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD).
More than 1,200 people are registered for the joint meeting, and several keynote speakers are featured, including Dr. Juan Lubroth, chief veterinary officer or the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization, who will speak on African swine fever on Monday, Oct. 28. Dr. Scott Dee with Pipestone Veterinary Service, will discuss the risk of ASF in imported feed supplements on Tuesday, Oct 29. Other topics of interest include the delay on animal disease traceability, the number of vacancies in government positions, and the need to bring people into the veterinary profession.
The USAHA has worked diligently to encourage students to attend its annual meeting. It offers travel scholarships and a poster session so students have ample opportunity to visit with professionals. Encouraging young people to enter the veterinarian profession is a high priority for USAHA (look for a follow-up article with more details).
The program hosts at least 30 different committee and subcommittee meetings with hundreds of experts speaking throughout the seven-day annual event. USAHA's mission is implemented through these multiple science-based committees and the adoption of resolutions and recommendations aimed at solving animal health problems.
The organization’s prime objective is to prevent, control and eliminate livestock diseases that cost ranchers, farmers and consumers approximately $1 billion per year.
USAHA is a science-based, non-profit, voluntary organization. Its 1,100 members are state and federal animal health officials, national allied organizations, regional representatives, and individual members. USAHA works with state and federal governments, universities, veterinarians, livestock producers, national livestock and poultry organizations, research scientists, the extension service and several foreign countries to control livestock diseases in the United States. USAHA represents all 50 states, 4 foreign countries and 34 allied groups serving health, technical and consumer markets.
USAHA is administered and its policy determined by the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Formed in 1897 as the Interstate Association of Livestock Sanitary Boards, the organization had fewer than 100 members and was concerned with one disease affecting cattle--Texas cattle fever. State, federal and industry collaborators formed USAHA in 1897 to assure the interstate shipment of healthy animals and to develop plans to prevent and eradicate animal disease. Today the need remains the same with increased international animal health and world trade responsibilities.
USAHA members have met annually since the association’s founding, and produces a published proceedings of each meeting. The proceedings represent the most complete history of the nation's animal health endeavors over the past century.