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AVMA readies for a historic election

Puerto Rico’s Dr. José Arce likely will become president of the association in 2021.

AVMA readies for a historic election
Dr. José Arce

Puerto Rico practice owner José Arce, DVM, is expected to be named president-elect of the American Veterinary Medical Association when the organization’s House of Delegates meets remotely in late July.

Dr. Arce, who is running unopposed, would assume the president’s seat in the summer of 2021 and serve a one-year term. The current president-elect, Doug Kratt, DVM, will replace President John Howe, DVM, CertAqV, next month.

Members of the House of Delegates, which functions as the AVMA’s governing body, will connect virtually on July 30 and 31. The delegates traditionally meet in person at the start of the AVMA’s annual convention, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 conference, which was to take taken place in San Diego.

Dr. Arce’s election as the 2021-22 AVMA president would make him the first Puerto Rican veterinarian to hold the position.

“I am extremely proud of my Puerto Rican and Spanish roots; they are an intricate part of who I am and my perspective towards all things in life,” he told JAVMA News. “Becoming a Hispanic and minority president of AVMA will be an honor, but it also comes with some responsibility. I will do my best to lead by example, and hopefully my presidency will send a message of inclusiveness and inspire other minorities to become involved in organized veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Arce, a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, serves as the AVMA district representative for Puerto Rico, Florida and Georgia.

Also on the House of Delegates agenda are two resolutions, each a revised policy.

The first, which concerns the transportation of research animals for the purpose of research, testing and education, adds language recommended by the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners.

The second, on antiparasitic resistance, would:

  • Delete the list of parasites known to have developed resistance to common parasiticides “as the list is not exhaustive.”
  • Recommend that veterinarians lead the decision-making process regarding utilization of parasiticides.
  • Recommend that antiparasitic drug sensitivity studies be considered in decision making.

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