Attending AALAS National Meeting in Phoenix?
Don't forget to register for our Luncheon or try out our new Cardio Warm-UP exercise class!
H.R.3136, the Enforcement Transparency ACT (ETA)
H.R.3136, the Enforcement Transparency ACT (ETA) is a newly introduced bill that would require the USDA to release the guidelines used in the formulation of any civil penalties for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA), would require the USDA to post a table of penalty guidelines for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act on USDA.gov, making it available to the public.
The USDA previously acknowledged creation of this table in a 2010 press release but has not released it to the public or Members of Congress. Several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the table from interested stakeholders were denied by USDA. USDA also refused to provide the information when requested by Members of the Senate and House.
While an overwhelming majority of the regulated community (researchers and veterinarians at colleges, universities, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals) has a strong record of compliance, they, and the public, have a right to know what penalties can be levied by USDA for non-compliance with the AWA. This right to know is the crux of open, transparent government, especially when the issuance of financial penalties could impact American competitiveness. If the general public can have knowledge of other penalties like littering, jaywalking, or speeding, the same should apply to laws enforced by USDA.
Publication of the table does not affect the deliberative process of USDA's enforcement of the AWA. The table is intended to be a simple guide to issue a specific dollar amount, where no debate or deliberation is required. USDA, at this point, would have already determined that an institution was not in compliance with the AWA. In fact, USDA claims in the May 2010 press release that the table is meant to serve as a deterrent to violating the AWA. Knowledge of potential penalties could certainly serve as a deterrent and bring trust, clarity and understanding to USDA's enforcement actions.
USDA has denied the public access to these documents because it has said it allows the regulated community to weigh the estimated cost for violation of the AWA. This is an instant and unfair assumption that research institutions choose noncompliance. Seventy eight percent of USDA's inspections of animal research facilities result in no citations for items of noncompliance. Additionally, no research program, private or federal, has budget items designed specifically to address levied fines.
For these reasons, ASLAP urges a position of “active pursuit of passage” of H.R. 3136 by the AVMA, and asks that constituents kindly request their representatives to cosponsor and support the bill.
ASLAP Summer Newsletter now online!
Log into the website to view the latest issue.
2014 Salary Survey is now here!
The 2014 Salary Survey is now available in the members-only section under the "Member News" heading.
The purpose of this economic survey is to assess the total annual professional income of laboratory animal veterinarians working in the United States, reflecting also the details and differences between types of employment, job specifics, and levels of experience and responsibility of professionals working in this field. It is repeated every three years under joint sponsorship of ACLAM and ASLAP. The results of this work have been used for a variety of purposes, including peer-comparisons of salary for recruitment and retention efforts by employers and for indirect indications of market place employment conditions of the laboratory animal veterinary medical specialty.
Click here to see the 2014 Salary Survey
RFA for Summer Fellowships in Laboratory Animal Medicine
The Board of Directors (BOD) of the ASLAP Foundation would like to announce the availability of the Request for Application (RFA) for the 2015 Summer Fellowship program. The RFA and Review Criteria can be found here along with the checklist used by the BOD in the review of each proposal.
The ASLAP Foundation is incorporated in the State of Illinois and is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide awards and scholarships to veterinary students who have demonstrated an interest in the practice of laboratory animal medicine. The ASLAP Foundation summer fellowship program is intended to provide the student with a 10-12 week concentrated exposure to the practice of laboratory animal medicine that combines both didactic and experiential training. The emphasis of the training is expected to be focused in the areas of clinical laboratory animal medicine and program/facility management. The fellowship program will provide up to $5,000 to support the summer student.
The deadline for submitting applications is October 2, 2015, with awards made by November 20 2015. For questions concerning the fellowship program contact Sally Westlake at email@example.com.
AVMA Wellness Website!
As professional care providers, unfortunately many of us wait until we are emotionally fatigued before we turn inward to reflect and address our own care needs. The stresses of workplace management and financial burdens, combined with placing the needs of clients and patients first, can lead quickly to burn out and/or compassion fatigue. Unfortunately poor personal wellness is common in the veterinary profession and all too often support resources are not available or openly discussed.
This year the AVMA felt it was imperative to being having an open and honest conversation about personal and workplace wellness, as the devastating repercussions are indiscriminate in their impact. The 2014-2015 AVMA Future Leaders class developed a comprehensive wellness website that begins with the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) assessment. The ProQOL is a widely validated, self-scored assessment tool that measures the positive and negative effects of helping others and provides a point of introspection to focus on one’s own self-care needs. Individuals are then directed to a comprehensive self-care tool kits with topics ranging from understanding our own vulnerabilities to stress management practices.
Take a moment to complete the self-assessment and explore the toolkit http://www.avma.org/wellness to begin your own wellness journey.
ASLAP is now on Facebook and LinkedIn
ASLAP members can now visit ASLAP Facebook and LinkedIn. On each service you can find ASLAP groups listed under the full name of the organization, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners. Each site is private and access is allowed only by permission.
To visit either our Facebook or LinkedIn site, follow the links above to the respective sites and follow the instructions on the page to request access. Since the sites are private, membership in Facebook or LinkedIn is required. Once your membership in ASLAP has been confirmed, you will be granted access. If you participate in these services, we would very much appreciate your leaving comments and suggestions at each site.
U.S. Certificate Program in Laboratory Animal Medicine
Applications are currently being accepted for enrollment in the U.S. Certificate Program in Laboratory Animal Medicine. This academic program of study provides continuing education and applied training for licensed U.S. veterinarians working in the field of Laboratory Animal Medicine.