August 10, 2004
College Station, Texas - Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor at Texas
A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine, assumed the
Presidency of the American Veterinary Medical Association at a
special installation ceremony on Tuesday, July 27, at the
association's national meeting in Philadelphia. Dr. Beaver is the
second woman and the eighth veterinarian from Texas to serve as
President of the 141-year old, 70,000-plus member organization.
In her Friday, July 23 speech to the opening session of the AVMA
House of Delegates, Dr. Beaver identified three areas of importance
for her presidency - Excellence - Communication - Animal Welfare.
"As health care professionals," said Dr. Beaver, "we are expected
to deliver the highest quality of veterinary medicine in the
private and public practice areas. For a small profession, we have
a lot if responsibility. We serve two publics," Dr. Beaver added,
"the animals and the people."
"The ability of our profession to meet the diverse needs of
society is as strong as it has ever been. Our challenge is to keep
it that way," said Dr. Beaver. According to Dr. Beaver the AVMA is
working on excellence in professional activities on many fronts,
including education, diversity, productivity, and quality of
"Our educational evaluation programs will continue to undergo
reevaluation and improvements to ensure they are the best. It is
important that we all work to protect the educational excellence of
our profession from challenges that are or will occur from inside
our borders as well as outside," said Dr. Beaver.
"In order to effectively serve society with excellence, the
profession must promote diversity," said Dr. Beaver. "This applies
to diversity in the expertise we have, and it applies to the
racial, ethnic and gender diversity of our colleagues," she added.
"How can we fully appreciate the nature of animal relations to the
Native Americans, Asians, or Hispanics in our country," asked Dr.
Beaver, "if we do not seek out the best young people in those
Communication establishes the relationship of veterinary
medicine with society. The profession, according to Dr. Beaver,
needs make a concerted effort to educate the public and even
members of the profession about who veterinarians are and what we
do. "As a small profession," said Dr. Beaver, "we must all speak
with one voice to be heard in defense of the animal and human
publics we serve. We must be willing to listen to each other so
that we become advocates for all segments of our profession."
"Veterinarians," said Dr. Beaver, "are the ultimate authorities
on animal welfare, and it is important that we retain this
authority in light of challenges by animal rightists and humane
organizations, as has been made evident in recent newspaper
attacks. As the world changes," Dr. Beaver added, "our need to
become more outspoken in this area has increased so that the image
of the veterinarian being the one true advocate for the animal is
not lost. Animal rightists are pushing their agenda in small
increments under the guise of animal welfare and with
In order for veterinarians to hold the position as leaders in
animal welfare, according to Dr. Beaver, "the AVMA must become more
proactive in several areas. First we must recognize that the animal
industry and the general public have been asking us to lead in this
area. In fact," added Dr. Beaver, "they expect it."
Dr. Beaver has proposed and the AVMA Executive Board has
accepted a recommendation to develop a Task Force on the Legal
Status of Animals to address the hot topics of animal guardianship
and non-economic status of animals.
"To retain a high visibility as leaders in animal welfare," said
Dr. Beaver, "the AVMA will need to increase time resources and
efforts in the area. This," she added, "will mean instituting and
phasing in a Division of Animal Welfare within the AVMA, staffed by
veterinarians who remain current on the global aspects of animal
welfare science and issues, and who are respected throughout animal
Dr. Beaver is a charter diplomate of the American College of
Veterinary Behaviorists, and a former President of the Texas
Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Beaver is an internationally
recognized authority on animal behavior, animal welfare and the
human-animal bond. She has authored eight books, nearly 200
scientific articles, and presented over 400 seminars.
Dr. Beaver will serve as President of the American Veterinary
medical Association, through the association's 2005 meeting in
Minneapolis, Minn., July 16-20, 2005.
Established in 1916, the Texas A&M College of Veterinary
Medicine is one of the world's leading institutions in animal
health care and research.
Texas A&M University's Dr. Bonnie Beaver addresses attendees
at the American Veterinary Medical Association's President's
Installation Reception. Beaver is only the second woman to be
installed as president of the 141-year old, 70,000-plus member
organization. Photo courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical
Texas A&M University's Dr. Bonnie Beaver receives the
president's gavel from Dr. Jack O. Walther, the immediate past
president of the AVMA. Photo courtesy of the American Veterinary
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
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