AVMA to take lead role on troubled appropriations committee

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The Executive Board approved a recommendation from the Legislative Advisory Committee for the AVMA to take a lead role in keeping together the Coalition for APHIS-Animal Care Appropriations.

Three representatives from the research community withdrew from participation in the coalition following the USDA's out-of-court settlement to begin the rule-making process to include birds, laboratory rats, and mice in federal animal care regulations (see JAVMA, Dec 1, 2000, page 1607).

Research groups worry that new regulations would be costly and could hinder their work.

The appropriations coalition was formed in 1999 to seek adequate funding for the enforcement program that is the responsibility of APHIS' Animal Care unit under the Animal Welfare Act. The program's budget has been stagnant since 1991, and the number of field investigators have declined.

The AVMA will attempt to expand the coalition's dialogue to address animal welfare issues covered by the Animal Welfare Act and to ensure that APHIS remains responsive to the research community on these issues.