Allard to retire from Senate in '08

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Senator Wayne AllardDr. Wayne Allard will not seek a third term in the U.S. Senate. The Colorado legislator, one of two veterinarians in the Senate, made the announcement Jan. 15, saying he would honor his term limit promise.

"When I first announced for Congress, I made a pledge to be a citizen legislator and serve in the Jeffersonian ideal of public service where you serve for a period of time and then return to live under the laws you have helped enact," Dr. Allard said.

"I also pledged to the people of Colorado that, if elected, I would serve no more than two terms in the United States Senate," he added. "Today, I am honoring both of those pledges to the citizens of Colorado."

The 1968 Colorado State University graduate was elected to the Senate in 1996. He previously served in the Colorado State Senate and later in the U.S. House of Representatives.

For more than a decade, Dr. Allard has been a critical AVMA ally on Capitol Hill. While serving in the House, he sponsored the Animal Drug Availability Act and was a chief supporter of the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act.

In the Senate, Dr. Allard introduced the Veterinary Workforce Expansion Act and co-sponsored the National Veterinary Medical Service Act and Pet Animal Welfare Statute. The NVMSA authorizes student loan repayments for recent veterinary graduates working in underserved areas, whereas PAWS would regulate large-scale pet breeders who sell directly to the public and over the Internet. He was also instrumental in clearing up a technical oversight that excluded board-certified veterinarians serving in the Air Force from receiving specialty pay.

"We're losing a big champion of the veterinary profession on the Hill," observed Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Allard won the AVMA Meritorious Service Award this past July for his contributions to the advancement of veterinary medicine and for bringing honor and distinction to the veterinary profession.

The senator will, according to Dr. Lutschaunig, likely reintroduce the Veterinary Workforce Expansion Act in the coming weeks and continue his opposition to the American Horse Slaughter Act, which is back before Congress. "I feel he'll be very supportive of our efforts over the next two years," he said.

Dr. Allard plans on his remaining days in the Senate to be the most fruitful. "I intend my final two years to be my most productive of my congressional career and will continue to work just as hard for the people of Colorado my last two years in office as I have over the last 16 years."