Washington— Wildlife and zoo animals will benefit from legislation introduced today that will enhance the education and training of veterinarians in those practice areas, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
The Wildlife Veterinarians Employment and Training (VET) Act, introduced by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Rep Michael Grimm (R-NY), will provide grants to institutions to expand the education and training of veterinarians in wildlife and zoological medicine. While the AVMA is currently in the process of reviewing the details of this new bill, it has supported similar legislation in the past.
"The AVMA strongly supports efforts that enhance veterinary medical education and training," says Dr. René Carlson, AVMA president. "Human, animal and environmental health are all interconnected. Wildlife veterinarians play a crucial role in wildlife disease research and surveillance, wildlife population management, and conservation of endangered, threatened, and sensitive species. Providing opportunities to enhance education and training for veterinarians will make important strides toward global disease detection and control and the promotion of health in people, animals, and our environment."
"Wildlife veterinarians have the resources and expertise necessary to help respond to environmental disasters and address short-term and long-term impacts on wildlife and their habitats," says Rep. Alcee L. Hastings. "Wildlife veterinarians have proven to be essential to the rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the Gulf of Mexico region following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began on April 20, 2010."
The legislation will also provide access to loan repayment options and scholarships for veterinary students who choose a career in wildlife and/or zoological medicine. The AVMA is hopeful that these options will alleviate some of the financial burdens faced by veterinary students.
For more information on the AVMA's congressional activities, visit www.avma.org/advocacy.