JAVMA News logo

April 15, 2021

Veterinary caucus ready to guide Congress

Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old
Rep. Schrader
Rep. Kurt Schrader

For the fifth congressional cycle, the U.S. House of Representatives has a Veterinary Medicine Caucus to educate members of Congress and their staffs about issues important to the veterinary profession.

The caucus is co-chaired by Oregon Democrat Kurt Schrader, a veterinarian, and South Dakota Republican Dusty Johnson.

The Veterinary Medicine Caucus has led the way in introducing legislation aimed at alleviating veterinary educational debt and promoting a one-health framework for federal responses to outbreaks of zoonotic disease. Additionally, the caucus works to secure funding for important veterinary-related federal programs.

“The Veterinary Medicine Caucus has been successful in stressing the importance of veterinary priorities to Congress,” AVMA President Douglas Kratt said in a press release. “The veterinarian community has established itself as essential in matters of scientific research, public health, and the economy.

Rep. Johnson
Rep. Dusty Johnson

“The AVMA and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges will work diligently with the caucus and its co-chairs to ensure that the perspective of the veterinarian is well-represented in Washington, DC and will make issues of student debt, animal welfare, One Health, and small business a priority in Congress.”

The sole veterinarian in either the House or Senate, Dr. Schrader is in his sixth term as Oregon’s 5th Congressional District representative. This is his fifth time as co-chair of the caucus. He serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“The caucus will work to highlight the important role veterinary medicine plays in research, public health, animal health and welfare, food safety, and the economy,” Dr. Schrader said. “As our country continues battling the novel coronavirus, we feel the caucus can play a critical role in keeping members informed about the ongoing challenges we face with zoonotic diseases and public health and we look forward to being part of that discussion.”

Johnson is in his second term in the House representing South Dakota. He currently serves on the Committee on Agriculture and is the ranking member of the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee. The congressman also serves on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Science-based animal health keeps South Dakota livestock and companion animals happy and healthy,” Johnson said. “I’m proud to serve as co-chair of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus and will continue to advocate for science-driven policy, strong research and development in this growing industry.”