Veterinarians Spearhead Tsunami Relief Effort to Rebuild Animal Population

Schaumburg, IL, January 27 – The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced today that it is pledging $500,000 in matching funds to Heifer International, an aid organization that supports the introduction of livestock into small-scale farm efforts in 50 countries. With the potential of raising $1 million to help tsunami survivors re-establish agricultural efforts in the regions affected, the AVMA has placed a $100,000 deposit with Heifer to establish the fund.

“As veterinarians, we understand the extent of the devastation that has been left for those who survived this cataclysmic disaster,” said Dr. Bonnie Beaver, president of the AVMA. “As an internationally recognized leader in human and animal health, the AVMA welcomes the responsibility to lead our members, industry partners and the general public in supporting the long-term, sustainable recovery of these countries through the efforts of Heifer International.”

Established over 60 years ago and already operating in some of the countries affected by the tsunami, Heifer International is monitoring the situation to determine when animals can be safely reintroduced into these areas.

When appropriate, Heifer International will match agricultural livestock to the local geography and culture, and teach the recipients how to properly raise and care for these animals. As the animals reproduce, their offspring will be used to perpetuate a family’s herd and to begin new herds for other struggling families. This is Heifer’s central cornerstone, “Passing on the Gift,” which ensures a project’s sustainability.

AVMA is urging its members, partners and the general public to visit the AVMA website for information on how to make a tax-deductible donation, or to send a check to Heifer International, P.O. Box 8058, Little Rock, AR 72203. “AVMA” must be written in the memo line of the check in order to receive matching funds. Donors may also call 1-888-548-6437 Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm central time. Again, donors must mention AVMA in order to receive matching funds. With more than 71,000 veterinarian members, the American Veterinary Medical Association is dedicated to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine in a broad range of areas, including animal and public health and welfare, homeland security and agriculture. To learn more, visit

Since 1944, Heifer International has provided struggling families a way to become self-reliant for food and income. Heifer International currently supports projects in 50 countries, including the United States that create sustainable small-scale farm enterprises to improve nutrition and supplement income. Local community groups conceive and manage Heifer International projects, empowering them to solve their own problems and equipping the next generation to face challenges successfully. For more information about Heifer International, please call (800) 696-1918,or visit the Heifer Web site at



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