Veterinarians: Ask your Senators to Cosponsor the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act

Posted 17 March 2011

Please urge your members to contact their U.S. Senators and ask that they cosponsor S. 518, a bill titled "the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act."

The shortage of veterinary care in some communities could have dire consequences for both human and animal health, as well as public safety, animal welfare, disease surveillance and economic development. To help combat the shortages, the U.S. Congress authorized the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP).

Unfortunately, as the rules stand now, all VMLRP awards are taxed at 39 percent. While participants will not bear this tax burden – the Secretary of Agriculture will pay the taxes directly from appropriated funds – this means funds that could go towards awards is being spent on taxes.

Maximizing each dollar that Congress appropriates for the loan repayment program ensures that designated veterinary shortage situations receive needed services as quickly as possible.

Veterinary loan repayment programs incentivize our nation's veterinary workforce to practice on the front lines of animal agriculture, providing veterinary care to rural farms and ranches. Veterinary care protects food safety and public health, improves animal health and welfare, promotes sustainable economic development in rural communities, and helps safeguard our homeland.

For more information on this legislation, or for a template that you can easily use to send a message to your Senators, please follow the link below to the AVMA-CAN Government Action Center:

http://capwiz.com/avma/issues/alert/?alertid=35600511&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

Thank you for your assistance.