AVMA is running a series of online and print advertisements in the National Journal this week, calling on Congress to not cut funding for a vital federal program that safeguards U.S. borders from 160 foreign animal diseases entering the United States.
The ads, which are slated to run March 18-22 online and March 19 in National Journal Daily, encourage policymakers to maintain current funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Without the proper resources, APHIS would be unable to perform its critical mission, leaving the United States vulnerable to potentially devastating attacks on human health and the economy.
APHIS has a broad mission, including: protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act, and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. Its veterinary services’ arm is also charged with preventing, controlling and eliminating animal diseases to better monitor and promote animal health in U.S. agriculture and in the marketplace.
Despite APHIS’ critical role, Congress has cut the APHIS budget each fiscal year since 2011. Congress’ meager investment in this critical program does not compare to the grave consequences the United States would face within the agricultural sector, not to mention the economy as a whole, if APHIS is unable to perform its functions.
AVMA is encouraging Congress to increase funding for APHIS from $816,534,000 in fiscal 2012 to at least $904,953,000 in fiscal 2014. This funding increase will give APHIS the necessary resources to carry out its functions for animal health, wildlife services, regulatory services, animal welfare and animal disease traceability.
Web visitors may view the ads on the National Journal’s website at random March 18-March 22. The print ad, seen below, will run in the March 19 issue of the National Journal Daily.