America’s veterinarians are on the front lines each day tackling issues of national importance, from keeping our food supply safe, abundant and affordable, to conducting research that leads to innovative breakthroughs in American agriculture and medicine, to promoting a quality standard of care for animals.
AVMA’s Government Relations Division represents roughly 80 percent of all U.S. veterinarians before Congress, advocating for legislation that will enhance the veterinary medical field and working to block the ones that won’t. Below is a sampling of some of the federal legislative issues that the AVMA is currently working on, but be sure to check out AVMA’s legislative agenda for a complete list of topics.
Food Safety & Security
In 2013, nearly 300 billion pounds of beef, poultry, pork and dairy products were produced
in the United States. From caring for livestock on the farm to overseeing the inspection and testing of these food products, veterinarians are an integral part of food safety in America. In a global food market, veterinarians are also engaged in efforts to ensure everyone around the world has reliable access to safe and nutritious food. Congress can ensure that veterinarians have the resources they need by providing funding for critical national and international agricultural programs
Agricultural & Biomedical Research
Roughly 60 percent of all diseases that affect humans are zoonotic, meaning they originate in animals. Veterinarians are essential in researching national and international diseases that could impact human, animal or plant health and are making huge strides in advancing everything from how our food is produced to discovering new methods to survey and guard against threatening diseases to developing vaccines and other treatments for both animals and people. Congress must continue to provide funding for critical programs that support animal health and disease research as well as those that will keep the country at the forefront of biomedical innovation.
Animal Health & Welfare
From barnyards to the backwoods to our own back yards, veterinarians care for a myriad of species of animals with their own health and welfare needs. Congress can help protect the lives of its two- and four-legged friends by putting into place scientifically sound policies that provide for the humane treatment of animals and by supporting federal initiatives that ensure that veterinarians have access to the medications they need to keep their animal patients healthy.