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Remembering Dr. Alex Ploeg

01 Aug 2014 4:55 PM | Anonymous
As I am sitting at my desk writing this message, I am listening to the news on CNN. Of course, the hourly news cast just led with the downing of flight MH17 and my mind cannot help but go to Dr. Alex Ploeg and his family. As most of you should know by now, Alex Ploeg with Ornamental Fish International was lost on this flight, along with his wife and son. For those who attended our conference in The Hague this spring, Alex spoke on Pet Restrictions in the EU. This tragic event has been far reaching, but it makes you very aware of how small the animal transportation industry is when one of our own is lost. Alex was not only very highly respected in this industry, but also had formed many lasting friendships, including with two of our board members, Raymond Tilburg and Jeff Segers, to whom our association extends our sympathy to as well. Raymond and Jeff will be attending Alex's memorial service on August 8th and will be passing on the sympathy of the ATA membership to their two surviving daughters. Their daughters have also set up a site where you can share memories of their father with them.

This past week brought myself and board members Judy Franco and Kelly Wheeler together at the American Veterinary Medical Association annual conference in Denver. The three of us, along with Dr. Christopher Pachel spoke jointly in the Animal Transportation session. We covered the transport of lab animals, fitness to transport of livestock, logistics of animal movements, and sedation of pets. All four presentations were very well received and attendees were very engaged with the topics. The three of us came out of the sessions feeling that ATA had gained some valuable exposure to some very critical players in the transport process. This is one area where we need to begin engaging more to raise awareness on transport - as they were very hungry for information that they seem to have great difficulty accessing. Special thanks to Dr. Pachel for participating in the session with us.

Last but not least for this month's President's Corner - we have confirmed the dates and location of the 2015 Conference! We will be in downtown Calgary 3-6 May 2015! Next month we will begin a monthly series in Migrations highlighting our speakers and activities for the 41st Annual Conference. This conference is shaping up to be one of the best ones yet and the local expert resources we can tap in the Calgary area seem to be endless - for all species groups.

Enjoy the final month of the summer holidays in the Northern Hempishere - and for those in the Southern - Winter is almost over!

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