July 15, 2004


 Sea otter recovery act an AVMA priority

Posted July 1, 2004

The Executive Board has made it a high priority of the AVMA to see that legislation designed to preserve and study the southern sea otter, a federally protected species, becomes law.

The Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act (H.R. 3545) establishes a program of research and other activities aiding in the recovery of the southern sea otter.

The bill directs the Department of the Interior to award competitive grants supporting research of southern sea otters, creates the Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Implementation Team, and establishes the Southern Sea Otter Scientific Advisory Committee.

Additionally, Congress would appropriate $5 million each year from 2004-2009 in support of these efforts.

Since California Rep. Sam Farr introduced the bill in November 2003, it has lingered in the House Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans. The Interior Department has also been asked to comment on the proposal.

In its request for board support, the Legislative Advisory Committee noted that the bill is in keeping with the AVMA position on conservation of wild and exotic animals. Briefly, the policy states the AVMA should work with appropriate groups and agencies to prevent the extinction of animal species.

The committee recommended, and the board approved, that the "Active Pursuit of Passage" designation be assigned to the Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act. That means the bill is placed on the AVMA legislative agenda and a high-priority application of AVMA human resources will be used to pass it.