June 01, 2008


 Positions tackle legislation of animal drugs, other government items

Posted May 15, 2008

The Executive Board in April set the AVMA agenda for federal legislation regarding animal drugs and approved other policies relevant to government.

The board approved actively pursuing passage of ongoing funding for National Research Support Project-7, the Department of Agriculture's program to develop new animal drugs for minor uses and minor species. At press time, the language that would authorize NSRP-7 was part of the Senate version of the Farm Bill, which was in conference committee.

The AVMA is supporting reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Act. Congress passed ADUFA in 2003, but the legislation sunsets this year. The ADUFA program requires companies to pay fees for new animal drug applications to bolster the product review and approval process at the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

The AVMA has chosen not to support the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance Act. The AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and AVMA Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee have concerns that the bill proposes decision-making activities that do not rely entirely on scientific risk assessment.

The board also approved AVMA policies relevant to government at the federal and state levels.

In support of the USDA's current revisions of the National Veterinary Accreditation Program, the board reaffirmed the policy on "Accredited veterinary program resources" to encourage the USDA to devote adequate resources to the NVAP. The USDA has proposed two tiers of accreditation and training requirements.

On the recommendation of the Committee on the Human-Animal Bond, the board approved a policy defining "Service animals" as "animals trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of normal living." The hope is that the definition will lead to consistency among relevant state statutes. The policy also cites the definition of "service animals" from the Americans with Disabilities Act.