AVMA opposes reduced liability for bird deaths, favors drug fees

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The AVMA opposes a legislative amendment that would remove liability for energy companies that unintentionally kill migratory birds.

And AVMA leaders said Congress should renew the Food and Drug Administration's authority to collect fees from drug manufacturers in support of hastened reviews of new and investigational drugs.

The Association's Board of Directors voted in April to oppose an amendment to HR 4239, the Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand American Energy Act, which would remove liability for accidental or incidental deaths of migratory birds by energy companies.

The legislation, introduced by Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, is intended to promote increased exploration, development, and production of oil, gas, and wind energy resources, according to a December 2017 announcement from Scalise and co-sponsors. The AVMA has taken no position on the overall bill.

Other provisions already in the legislation would reduce protections for marine mammals and penalties for marine mammal deaths. The House bill also would prevent a president from declaring or reserving new marine national monuments, reduce environmental review requirements for energy leases, reduce human safety and pollution-related requirements in Arctic drilling, and let the federal government delegate authority over oil and gas exploration on federal lands to states.

Board members also voted in support of a five-year renewal of the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2018, S 2434, which would reauthorize fee agreements between pharmaceutical companies and the FDA to help fund expedited drug reviews, quality assurance, and market surveillance. Without renewal, the provisions will expire Oct. 1.

AVMA President Michael Topper testified in March that the fee-supported review process has given veterinarians drugs that can improve patient care (see JAVMA May 1, 2018). He said the expedited reviews are needed to address the lack of treatment options in some conditions and species.