January 01, 2008


 AVMA adds to the 110th Congress legislative agenda

Posted Dec. 15, 2007

The Executive Board acted on the Legislative Advisory Committee's recommendations pertaining to 21 pieces of federal legislation. The board agreed with all the committee's recommendations about which bills to support and the priority to assign each one.

The AVMA legislative scoring system comprises six possible actions—active pursuit of passage, support, nonsupport, active pursuit of defeat, no action, or request for more information.

Two initiatives received the highest priority. The AVMA assigned active pursuit to securing equity in federal veterinary pay. Active pursuit of passage was designated for H.R. 1717, which would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.

To evaluate potential inequities in federal pay, the AVMA Governmental Relations Division staff will work with the National Association of Federal Veterinarians to compare compensation of veterinarians with that of other health professionals in the federal government. The GRD and NAFV will work with the legislative and executive branches to address any inequities that result in lower salaries for veterinarians.

The new National Bio and Agro-defense Facility that would be created by H.R. 1717 would ultimately replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. The legislation would require the agriculture secretary to ensure that the facility consists of biocontainment laboratories capable of performing BSL-3 and BSL-4 research and activities, to enable the study of live foot-and-mouth disease virus, and to enter into agreements with directors of other federal departments to define their roles at the facility.

The following 14 bills were designated for AVMA support:

  • S. 1880/H.R. 3219/H.R. 3327, The Dog Fighting Prohibition Act, and H.R. 3327, The Federal Dog Protection Act
  • H.R. 465, Asian Elephant Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2007
  • H.R. 1913, The Great Cats Conservation Act
  • H.R. 2711, Computer-Assisted Remote Hunting Act
  • H.R. 50, Multinational Species Conservation Fund Reauthorization Act of 2007
  • H.R. 1405/S. 1246, The Wildlife Global Animal Information Network for Surveillance (Wildlife GAINS) Act
  • S. 1033/H.R. 1464, The Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2007
  • S. 1609/H.R. 2010, National Offshore Aquaculture Act
  • H.R. 2465, Income-Dependent Education Assistance Act of 2007
  • S. 1882, The Public Health Preparedness Workforce Development Act of 2007
  • H.R. 2301, Livestock Identification and Marketing Opportunities Act of 2007
  • H.R. 2118/S. 971, National Institute of Food and Agriculture Act of 2007
  • S. 1804, National Agriculture and Food Defense Act of 2007


The AVMA designated nonsupport for H.R. 2193, The Animal Protection Accountability Improvement Act; S. 533, Natural Stock Conservation Act of 2007; and H.R. 1148/S. 654, Safe Food Act of 2007.

No action will be taken on S. 1916/H.R. 3295, The Chimp Protection Act; H.R. 2629/S. 887, to restore import and entry agricultural inspection functions to the Department of Agriculture; or H.R. 3/S. 5, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007.