The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is pleased to recognize U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) with its 2013 Advocacy Award for his efforts in championing legislation that benefits the health and welfare of the nation’s animals and supports the veterinary profession in Congress. AVMA’s President Dr. Douglas G. Aspros presented Rep. Schrader with the award this morning in Washington, D.C.
“While the veterinary profession has many friends within the halls of Congress, the AVMA Advocacy Award recognizes that individual who has made significant efforts to advance AVMA’s legislative agenda and advocated on behalf of the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Aspros. “Dr. Kurt Schrader has proven since day one in Congress to be a diligent and conscientious lawmaker who steadfastly works to advance policies and initiatives beneficial for the veterinary profession, food safety and animal health and welfare. Rep. Schrader is a reliable and trusted resource for fellow lawmakers who seek his counsel on issues concerning veterinary medicine and small business management, and it gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the profession, to honor him with this award.”
Among his many accomplishments for the field of veterinary medicine, Rep. Schrader in March introduced a bill—H.R. 1125—that would make the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) tax-exempt. This crucial program allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide eligible veterinarians with tuition reimbursement in exchange for their three-year service in rural areas of the country where there is a shortage of food safety and public health veterinarians. If the program were tax-exempt, the USDA could award more veterinarians an opportunity to participate, reducing its shortage situations.
In April, Rep. Schrader introduced the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to allow veterinarians to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice without requiring a separate registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration. By amending the CSA in statute, the bill would remove all ambiguity with regard to how the law is enforced, giving veterinarians the legal ability to use the medications they need to treat their animal patients beyond their brick-and-mortar clinics.
Rep. Schrader cosponsored two of AVMA’s high priority bills for animal welfare this Congress, including the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which would bar anyone from knowingly attending or causing a minor to attend an animal fight, and the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013, which would amend the Horse Protection Act by providing federal regulators with additional enforcement authority to prohibit the abusive act of soring horses. He also continues to advocate for key provisions of veterinary importance to be included in the House’s version of the Farm Bill, such as a push in the last Congress to establish the competitive veterinary services grant program that would develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services.
Rep. Schrader, along with fellow veterinarian and Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), founded the Veterinary Medicine Caucus in March, which is aimed at educating Members of Congress and their staff on the importance that veterinary medicine has in research, public health, animal health and welfare, food safety and the economy. He plays a pivotal role on the House Agriculture Committee, where he serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, and sits on the House Small Business Committee. For more information on the congressman, see his official biography.
For more information on AVMA’s Advocacy Award, including the criteria and selection process, visit AVMA’s website.