AVMA applauds veterinary priorities included in House and Senate Farm Bills

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(WASHINGTON, DC) May 22, 2024—The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have taken action to pass a new Farm Bill that would reauthorize many federal programs essential to veterinary medicine. Working with lawmakers and stakeholder groups, the AVMA's sustained advocacy led to the inclusion of the veterinary profession's top legislative priorities that will help protect animal welfare and maintain public health.

"Passing a new Farm Bill that includes the veterinary profession's priorities is critical to the nation's public and animal health infrastructure," said Dr. Rena Carlson, AVMA President. "By working with Congress and other stakeholders, the AVMA's continued advocacy has led to the inclusion of reauthorizations, funding, and legislation that will help protect animal and human welfare while advancing veterinary medicine. We look forward to working with Congress as the legislative process advances and urge them to swiftly pass a Farm Bill that includes veterinary priorities."

On May 17, the House released a discussion draft and will hold a legislative hearing on the new Farm Bill tomorrow (May 23) morning, while the Senate released a framework on May 1, 2024.  

Key provisions:

  • Inclusion of the Healthy Dog Importation Act: The bill would help prevent the introduction and spread of animal and human health diseases. The legislation would improve importation standards to ensure a dog is healthy when imported into the United States.
  • Reauthorize animal disease prevention and management programs: Also known as the "three-legged stool," these programs bolster the country's prevention, preparedness, and response capabilities to foreign animal disease outbreaks.
  • Reauthorize and assess important veterinary programs: The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) and the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) are essential to recruiting and retaining veterinarians in rural areas. The new Farm Bill proposals reauthorize VSGP and include language for the Secretary of Agriculture to review and provide recommendations for improving these two programs.
About the AVMA

Serving more than 105,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.