Industry Gender Identity Bill Receives Support from AVMA and VMAE

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An initiative to eliminate discriminatory practices against transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people in the veterinary profession has received support from two professional associations.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE) have signed the Pride Veterinary Medical Community (PrideVMC) Gender Identity Bill of Rights (GIBOR).

Co-authored by Erika Lin-Hendel, VMD, PhD; Ewan Wolff, PhD, DMV, DACVIM; and Jenna Ward, DVM, the document serves as a minimum basis for identifying and eliminating discriminatory practices in the industry. It calls for the implementation of several rights within the profession, including the right to identity, names, pronouns and privacy; freedom of gender expression; and protection against discrimination/harassment of colleagues and customers.

The signing of GIBOR by the AVMA and VMAE marks “a step forward” in improving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the veterinary profession, says PrideVMC.

“We are delighted to announce that the AVMA and VMAE have joined the many other organizations as signatories in support of these fundamental human rights for transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people,” said the president. of the group, Abby McElroy, DMV, MS. “[Their] The support represents a next level of partnership within organized veterinary medicine which we hope, together with other major groups, can lead to a safe inclusive space within the entire profession, including our facilities. courses accredited by the AVMA.

By early November, GIBOR had 856 individuals and 177 organizations as signatories, including national and international associations, colleges and schools of veterinary medicine, veterinary practices, and industry animal health companies.

“Supporting the Gender Identity Bill of Rights is consistent with our belief in inclusion and will help advance AVMA’s diversity initiatives,” says AVMA President Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP (canine/feline), CVJ. “GIBOR will help some people who may not have felt welcome in the past to feel more comfortable and supported in our great profession in the future. We thank PrideVMC for their advocacy, which will help all members of the veterinary community feel included and respected.

“VMAE serves the executives who manage national, regional and specialty veterinary medical associations,” added VMAE President Tim Atkinson. “We actively promote diversity within our community through our programs and are proud to sign the GIBOR. It provides us with a set of guiding principles to follow so that we can ensure that our association is welcoming to everyone, regardless of their gender identification. »

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