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VME 6617 – Risk Assessment and Mitigation for the Use and Management of Veterinary Agents

  • Course Description

    This course has been developed for upper-level students with the desire to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the hazards that veterinary agents can pose to wildlife and more broadly to the environment, in order to develop pragmatic responses and creative solutions.

    Through a series of case study-related assignments and online discussions, students will learn to recognize then assess the harmful consequences that arise when various classes of veterinary agent are administered and the different means by which they gain entry and persist in the environment. A comprehensive overview of risk assessment approaches used to mitigate these hazards and the suite of actions that can be taken to pre-empt and mitigate risks, will be provided. Students will also gain deeper insight into the breadth of pertinent environmental and wildlife regulations, with examples of relevant stakeholders from whom to gather salient information and form partnerships for best management and drug administration practices within their own communities.

    Prerequisite:

    VME 6616 – Introduction to Critical Thinking, Environmental Monitoring and Risk Assessment of Veterinary Agents

    Course Objectives:

    Upon completion of this course, students will have the ability to:

    • Evaluate a product’s potential repercussions to the environment through a number of critical stages – from R&D to administration, disposal and beyond;
    • Apprise themselves of the local regulations for safe/legal usage, expired product and carcass disposal;
    • Be conversant with the relevant wildlife and environmental regulations, and be aware of the associated penalties – whether for veterinarians or members of the public – when these are for their contravened;
    • Recognize when the available regulations offer inadequate protection – or when a product is inherently unsafe to wildlife – and seek out appropriate courses of action or assistance;
    • Identify key stakeholders and decision-makers within their immediate community and elsewhere to develop partnerships through which to implement environmentally safe veterinary agent management practices and outreach initiatives.

    Topics:

    Module Topic
    Module 1 Then as now
    Module 2 Case 1 – Sodium pentobarbital, companion/livestock animals and wildlife
    Module 3 Case 2 – Ivermectin and dung beetles
    Module 4 Case 3 – Secondary exposure of captive wildlife to veterinary agents and other toxic compounds (e.g., heavy metals, rodenticide) in zoos and rehabilitation facilities
    Module 5 A comprehensive review of the existing wildlife and environmental protection worldwide
    Module 6 Dissecting and critiquing existing regulations
    Module 7 The nuts and bolts of the risk assessment
    Module 8 A critique of current risk assessment approaches and perspectives drawing from the case of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the Asian Vulture Crisis
    Module 9 Beware erroneous perceptions and assumptions!
    Module 10 Stakeholders, community responsibilities and partnerships
    Module 11 Education and Outreach
    Module 12 What will you do now?

    At a Glance