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AVMA Collections Highlights Disaster Preparedness

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- From Midwest floods, to wildfires that have scarred California, recent natural disasters have grabbed headlines and have cost dearly in life and livelihood. Many animals and pets have also been lost or have ended up in shelters, waiting for their owners to claim them.

The catastrophic events of the 2005 hurricane season also created a deluge of painful lessons in disaster preparedness and response. While response efforts directed at helping animals achieved real success after the hurricanes, they also were confounded by many factors.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in its ongoing efforts to educate veterinarians, health professionals and the public, has made available on its Web site a new installment of AVMA Collections, this one a compilation of articles highlighting disaster preparedness and response. Collections can be viewed by going to

"Veterinarians have a vital role in protecting both humans and animals during and after disasters," says Janis Audin, DVM, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA). "The Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005 called attention to the fact that preplanning failed to take into account the human-animal bond. This failure put people and animals at risk. Already, events in 2008 are showing us that the potential for disaster exists everywhere."

AVMA Collections was created to offer veterinary professionals and the public compilations of articles organized by topic or subject from the JAVMA and the American Journal of Veterinary Research. The newest edition, which includes highlights for quick reference and a topic summary, reflects the arduous work of experts in animal disaster preparedness and response who have grappled with the central questions involved and have offered their findings and recommendations within the covers of the AVMA scientific journals.

Areas discussed include the veterinarian's role in preparedness and response; biosecurity and bioterrorism preparedness; search-and-rescue dogs; and preparedness and response policy.

"We believe this installment of AVMA Collections will help veterinarians, other healthcare providers and the public plan as effectively as possible before disaster strikes," Audin says.

The AVMA and its more than 76,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at for more information.

SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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