By Ben Richey, USAHA Executive Director
The United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) continues its diligence in addressing animal health issues in the US, now in its 122nd year. Much discussion over recent months has continued with the Farm Bill, including efforts to support a robust foot and mouth disease vaccine bank, increased capabilities for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), and broader resources available for animal health, primarily focused on tools for safeguarding our nation’s food supply. USAHA recently held its Committee on Government Relations in Washington, DC, hoping to further discussions in this area.
Traceability continues to garner ample discussion, particularly across the cattle industry. At the 2017 USAHA Annual Meeting, the organization put forth a resolution urging the move towards electronic identification by 2023 (http://www.usaha.org/upload/Resolution/2017/Resolution_8_ID_in_Cattle.pdf). Several meetings over the last few months have focused on this topic, and how it might evolve down the road.
Internally, the organization has just completed it’s first annual review of the new committee structure process, in an effort to proactively align the structure to address the ever-changing needs of animal agriculture. Initial responses have been positive, with USAHA leadership able to identify several areas for enhancement. Learn more about USAHA and its committees at www.usaha.org.
To engage more with USAHA and its members, particularly at a regional level, each of USAHA’s regional districts hosts an individual meeting, annually each spring. Registration is available to anyone interested in regulatory veterinary medicine, and provides a great opportunity for networking with state and federal animal health officials, as well as other industry leadership. The schedule is as follows:
- North Central USAHA: April 23-27, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- Northeast USAHA: June 3-6, Newport, R.I.
- Southern Animal Health Association: June 4-7, Nashville, Tenn.
- Western States Livestock Health Association, June 11-14, Big Sky, Mont.
More information about these regional meetings can be found at http://www.usaha.org/district-meetings .
USAHA, in partnership with the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, has seen continued use of its web portal for interstate movement, www.interstatelivestock.com. The site now boasts multiple species movement information for all 50 states. We encourage continued use of this free tool by all those with livestock entering commerce.
USAHA is based in St. Joseph, Mo., and represents more than 1,100 members, including all 50 states, 38 allied industry organizations, 11 federal agencies, four international agencies and two sovereign territories. USAHA’s mission is to develop and promote sound animal health solutions for the public good.
Current USAHA leadership includes:
- Mrs. Barbara Determan, President, National Pork Producers Council
- Dr. Kristin Haas President-Elect, Vermont State Veterinarian
- Dr. Martin Zaluski, First Vice President, Montana State Veterinarian
- Dr. Paul McGraw, Second Vice President, Wisconsin State Veterinarian
- Dr. Charles Hatcher, Third Vice President, Tennessee State Veterinarian
- Dr. Annette Jones, Treasurer, California State Veterinarian
- Dr. Boyd Parr, Immediate Past President, South Carolina State Veterinarian
This year’s annual USAHA Annual Meeting will be October 18-24, 2018 in Kansas City, Mo. Details will be available this summer at http://www.usaha.org/.