AR-News: AVAR Elects New Board President

Pam Runquist pam at
Tue Sep 9 12:45:03 EDT 2003

Santa Barbara Veterinarian to Lead National Veterinary Group
Focusing on Animal Rights

DAVIS (September 9, 2003) - Paula Kislak, D.V.M., was elected the new 
president of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR) by a 
unanimous vote of the board of directors. Kislak, a veterinarian with 20 
years experience and a longtime animal rights advocate, succeeds AVAR 
co-founder Dr. Nedim Buyukmihci in the leadership role at AVAR. Dr. 
Buyukmihci recently retired from his faculty position at the University of 
California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, to take a full-time 
position at the Animal Protection Institute's primate sanctuary in Texas.

"I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve as president," said Kislak. 
"As a national organization with more than 10,000 veterinary members and 
contributors, AVAR is a powerful resource that fills a unique niche. It 
provides a crucial link between the scientific medical sector and the 
animal advocacy community."

AVAR promotes the rights of all nonhuman animals through legislative 
activities, public education and programs to provide direct aid to animals 
in need. Current campaigns include promotion of alternatives to the harming 
and killing of animals in veterinary instruction and education regarding 
the benefits of early-age (6-8 weeks) sterilization. Ongoing initiatives 
include efforts to prohibit the sale of animals from shelters  to research 
facilities and bans on certain cruel food production practices affecting 
animals. AVAR is the only national veterinary association that focuses on 
animal rights issues and encourages the veterinary profession to be more 
animal advocacy oriented.

Dr. Kislak, a vegan, has been an AVAR board member since 1998 and was on 
its advisory board prior to that. She is considered by many as an 
"activst's activist" because of her involvement with many animal rights 
issues. For example, Dr. Kislak has been an anti-greyhound racing activist 
since 1992, she was instrumental in passing California's sweeping animal 
shelter reform law of 1998, and she continues to assist with efforts to 
help animals both locally and in Sacramento. She is a consultant and on 
boards of several groups, including Santa Barbara Animal Rescue, 
Animalkind, and Neva Foundation.

Dr. Kislak graduated with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the 
University of Florida in 1984. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in 
Psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the George 
Washington University. She has numerous professional credits, including 
past president of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association, 
San Fernando Valley Chapter and area coordinator for the California 
Veterinary Medical Association's Disaster Response Team. She and her 
husband, also a veterinarian, had their own private practice for small 
animals in Sherman Oaks, California, before moving to Santa Barbara three 
years ago. She also has extensive animal shelter experience.

"The AVAR is very fortunate to have Dr. Kislak as its new president," said 
Teri Barnato, AVAR's National Director. "When it comes to the 'first do no 
harm' veterinary ethic, she is one of the few who always adheres to it both 
in her professional and personal life."

For more on AVAR, visit the website at

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