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It is the continuing goal of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus to ensure that Congress is informed of the important role veterinary medicine plays in research, public health, food safety, and the economy.
The non-partisan member organization of the House of Representatives has re-established itself for the fifth cycle of the Congress. Through this group, veterinarians will work to educate members of Congress and their staff on issues critical to their profession and to raise awareness of the importance of veterinary medicine.
The organization is led by representatives Kurt Schrader, DVM (Oregon), who is the only veterinarian in Congress and who helped found the caucus in 2013, and Dusty Johnson (South Dakota) who currently serves on the Agriculture Committee and is a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.
“Veterinarians are routinely the only health professionals who work at the interface between human and animal health,” says Dr. Schrader. “The caucus will highlight the important role veterinary medicine plays in research, public health, animal health and welfare, food safety and the economy. As our country continues to fight the novel coronavirus, we believe the caucus can play a vital role in educating members about the ongoing zoonotic and public health challenges we are facing, and we look forward to that To be part of this discussion. “
The caucus previously spearheaded the introduction of several laws affecting veterinary medicine, including the VET MED Act, the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Improvement Act, and the One Health Act.
Going forward, the group, which works closely with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), aims to secure funding for key federal veterinary-related programs by organizing congressional meetings and receiving support for initiatives.
“The Veterinary Medicine Caucus has successfully highlighted the importance of veterinary priorities to Congress,” said Douglas Kratt, President of AVMA, DVM. “The veterinary community has established itself as indispensable in matters of scientific research, public health and the economy. AVMA and AAVMC will work diligently with the caucus and its chairpersons to ensure the Washington, DC veterinarian perspective is well represented and student debt, animal welfare, One Health, and small business issues in Congress become one Make priority. ”