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Envirovet Summer Institute 2003 - follow link for more information

New Educational Program

Veterinary Voices for Healthy Water

The outstanding aquatic biodiversity of the Southeast USA is severely threatened by many types of water pollution and habitat degradation, including that caused by the poor animal care practices of livestock and pet owners of all types. Animal waste, substrate disruption, and poor agricultural practices contribute to water pollution and habitat degradation that threaten many rare and endangered aquatic species. A large percentage of livestock and pet owners interact on a regular basis with veterinarians who provide medical care and management consultation. Everyday, these countless interactions between veterinarian and animal owner represent an opportunity for client education on the health and economic benefits of improving management and animal care practices by livestock and pet owners.

To capitalize on the fact that veterinarians are one of the most trusted advisors to the American public, a nonprofit group, the Alliance of Veterinarians for the Environment (AVE), is launching Veterinary Voices for Healthy Waters. The overall goal of the Veterinary Voices Program is to improve water quality and riparian habitat protection by empowering veterinary professionals as trusted advisors to educate livestock and pet owners and motivate them to use voluntary BMPs to improve animal health, save money and protect local water quality. For example, keeping livestock away from stream banks not only prevents sediment and waste pollution into waterways but it can also increase rate of gain and reduce cases of mastitis and foot rot in the livestock population. Recent research also shows that one of the main sources of pathogens in urban waterways are waste dropping from dogs, cats and birds The program will create a cadre of veterinarians with an awareness of the animal - water quality connections and the importance of BMP use by animal owners. These veterinarians can then provide direct, credible and effective public education to clients and animal owners that emphasizes the health and economic benefits of BMP use. The result will be greater voluntary use of BMPs, healthier animals and people, improved water quality, and greater protection of riparian habitat.

Currently, AVE is compiling a thorough review of medical and environmental literature and developing a compelling presentation on BMPs for large and small animal practitioners. The program will be presented as continuing veterinary education (CVE) across Tennessee the first year, and then expanded to the Southeast region in subsequent years. The program includes giving practitioners client education materials they can offer as a valued added service to animal owners. These materials will emphasize animal health and cost savings to clients and include information on funding sources available to help landowners and resource managers implement BMPs on their property.

This project is made possible through a seed grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and partial matching funds from the Tennessee Valley Authority. AVE is actively pursuing the remaining matching funds needed to fully fund the project. Those interested in supporting the project or having a presentation in your area may contact AVE through:

Gwen Griffith, DVM, MS, Director
836 West Hillwood Drive, Nashville, TN 37205
Phone: 615-353-0272
E-mail: AVEgwen@aol.com.
www.AVEweb.org


Archived Educational Programs


| GOALS | ACTIVITIES | FACTS & CONCERNS | EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS |
| CAREER TOOLS | JOB OPENINGS | FACT SHEETS |
| AMPHIBIANS AS SENTINELS | CLIMATE AND HEALTH | NEWSLETTER EXCERPTS |
| ANNUAL REPORT | MEETING REPORT | MEMBERSHIP |
| RELATED SITES | HOME |

Site Designer: C. M. Brown, DVM, MSc at cm_brown@ix. netcom.com