Past Veterinary Profession Issues

Issue Summaries for the 112th Congress

(View the issue summaries for the current Congress.)

H.R 3886, Wildlife Veterinarians Employment and Training (VET) Act
This bill aims to expand the workforce of veterinarians specialized in the care and conservation of wild animals, develops educations programs focused on wildlife and zoological veterinary medicine; created new funded positions for wildlife and zoo clinical and research veterinarians; creates a loan repayment program to help limit the amount of educational debt of veterinary medical students that go into wildlife or zoological medicine; provides incentives to study and practice wildlife and zoological veterinary medicine; helps schools and colleges of veterinary medicine develop pilot curricula to train students in health management of wildlife in their natural environment and in captivity; expands the number of educational and training programs in wildlife and zoological medicine for veterinary students.
Status: H.R. 3886 was introduced 2/2/12 and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry, and in addition to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular affairs.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 

Veterinary Corps Officer Accession from Lieutenant to Captain
Currently, all active duty veterinarians entering the Army Veterinary Corps are commissioned into the corps at the rank of Captain. Army Reserve Veterinary Corps officers, however, are commissioned at the rank of First Lieutenant unless they get credit for years in veterinary medicine after graduation (approx. 5-7yrs; requirement may vary). Physicians commissioned as Army Medical Corps officers enter active duty or the reserves at a rank of Captain. First Lieutenants are expected to perform the same duties and responsibilities as Captains in the United States Army Reserve Veterinary Corps; however, they do not have the same authority to carry out these tasks. Additionally, military pay is related to rank, which is consistent with the AVMA GRD's current federal equity in pay initiative.
AVMA Position: Active Pursuit of Passage
Primary Contact: Dr. Mark Lutschaunig  
Equity in Federal Veterinary Pay Equity
There is an increasing need for highly trained veterinarians in federal employment. Veterinarians in Federal service are on the front lines of the nation’s homeland security efforts. At the present time, Federal agencies lack sufficient incentives to recruit and retain the best and brightest veterinarians. The government needs to keep and attract new veterinarians. To do so, it must improve compensation packages for federally employed veterinarians. More than 25% of Federal veterinarians will qualify for retirement in the next five years. The Office of Personnel Management level the playing field for federal agencies employing veterinarians by establishing specialty pay rates on par with other medical personnel, providing professional development opportunities including leadership training and continuing education, and board certification.
Status: GRD staff is working closely with the National Association of Federal Veterinarians (NAFV) in seeking administrative and legislative solutions to rectify inequities.
AVMA Position:  Active Pursuit of Passage
Primary Contact: Dr. Mark Lutschaunig