Today, 125 animal health groups, led by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), submitted a letter asking the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor to protect and preserve Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
The letter notes that nonprofits, federal agencies and state governments rely on animal health professionals to perform critical tasks such as ensuring safety of the U.S. meat supply, monitoring and preventing the spread of dangerous diseases such as rabies or avian influenza, caring for animals in zoos and aquariums, treating military and working dogs, and preserving wildlife habitats.
Many of these animal health professionals – including veterinarians, animal scientists, dairy scientists, equine scientists, poultry scientists, marine biologists, zoologists, animal nutritionists, epidemiologists, pathologists, ecologists and veterinary technicians – incur significant debt to receive the education necessary for their careers.
These professionals are depending on Congress to keep the promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which pledges to forgive qualified educational debt for employees who have worked 10 years or more in the public service sector while repaying their loans. If Congress were to eliminate or weaken Public Service Loan Forgiveness in any way, it could devastate animal health professionals who are counting on the program.
Additionally, elimination of the program could drastically reduce the pipeline of future public service professionals. Without this program in place, public service careers could become financially infeasible for public health professionals, especially compared to more lucrative private sector careers.
AVMA will work closely with lawmakers to preserve, protect and improve Public Service Loan Forgiveness throughout the 116th Congress.