Veterinarian-turned-politician hopes to bring science to the Hill

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U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader (left) met with veterinary industry and AVMA representatives March 13 at a meet-and-greet breakfast hosted by the National Pork Producers Council in Washington, D.C. Dr. W. Ron DeHaven (right), CEO and executive vice president of the AVMA, attended.

Drs. Schrader and DeHaven
(Courtesy of Robert Cogan/National Pork Producers Council)

Rep. Schrader, an AVMA member, said that being a veterinarian in the Oregon House of Representatives, where he served from 1997–2003, allowed him to serve as a moderating influence and help bring science to the issues. He says he will try to have the same role in Washington, D.C. Rep. Schrader serves on three committees in the House of Representatives: the Budget Committee; the Small Business Committee, where he is chairman of its Finance and Tax Subcommittee; and the Agriculture Committee. On the latter he has seats on the Department Operations Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry Subcommittee; the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee; and the Horticulture and Organic Agriculture Subcommitee.

Dr. DeHaven offered the Association's technical support for topics such as animal welfare, the National Animal Identification System, and National Veterinary Medical Service Act. Dr. DeHaven expressed his desire that NVMSA be tax-free.

Also present from the AVMA Governmental Relations Division staff were Gina Luke, assistant director; Dr. Ashley N. Shelton, assistant director; Chris Myrick, outside counsel to the AVMA; and the division's two externs, Amber Andersen and Stic Harris.

Representatives from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, United Egg Producers, Bayer Animal Health, and the American Meat Institute also were in attendance.

Rep. Schrader made it clear he and other entities won't always agree with these various groups on every issue, and in that case, they can agree to disagree, though he doesn't anticipate this happening often.