The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association welcomes the announcement that the American College of Animal Welfare (ACAW) is now a recognized board specialty in the field of veterinary medicine. The American Veterinary Medical Association executive board approved ACAW earlier this month.
There are now 22 AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organizations, comprising 40 distinct board specialties. Veterinarians with advanced postgraduate training and experience in a specialty who then pass an intensive examination by a national board of senior specialists are recognized as diplomates.
Patricia Olson, DVM, Dipl. ACAW, is a charter diplomate of the new ACAW and an HSVMA Leadership Council member, said the new college provides much-needed recognition for those with expertise and knowledge in the field of animal welfare science. The new specialty also lends credibility to the veterinary profession’s overall role in advancing animal welfare.
"The veterinary profession can and should be at the forefront of efforts to advance animal health and welfare," said Olson, who spent more than four years working with other charter members to develop the requirements and standards for the new specialty. "This new specialty helps the profession move into that role as well as opens up opportunities for those in the profession who want to expand their individual efforts and professional status when it comes to improving animal welfare."
"The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association is proud to have one of the charter diplomates in the new welfare specialty on our Leadership Council and we look forward to other HSVMA members achieving this board specialty in years to come," said Gary Block, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, an HSVMA board member. "HSVMA’s focus is to provide a home for veterinary professionals who are concerned about animal welfare and this new specialty represents a welcome opportunity for our members."
The requirements to become board certified in animal welfare are available on the ACAW website. The deadline to submit materials to qualify to take the 2013 examination is Nov. 1, 2012.