By: Dr. Kristi Henderson, assistant director, Scientific Activities
On May 24, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced in the Federal Register that it was seeking comments on its revised proposed rule, “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands.” The AVMA submitted comments to the BLM on June 17 based on AVMA’s policy on Extractive Industries and recommendations by the AVMA’s Committee on Environmental Issues.
While regulators and policymakers typically focus on the public health and environmental aspects of extractive industries, such as hydraulic fracturing, AVMA maintains that animal health must also be considered. Animals—both domestic and wild—inhabit the lands as well as the watersheds involved, and humans rely on these animals for food, fiber, companionship, livelihood, assistance and recreation. In addition, ecosystem health is dependent upon numerous factors including biodiversity of healthy animal populations. For these reasons, the AVMA supports objective scientific research on the impact extractive industries would have on animal health, foods of animal origin and the environment.
AVMA’s Assistant Executive Vice President Dr. Elizabeth Curry-Galvin in a letter to BLM applauded collaborative efforts “to create a consistent, predictable regulatory framework for hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Tribal lands.” Similar to the requirements being proposed by BLM that are geared toward protecting the environment and human health and safety, she continued that “the AVMA supports objective scientific research on extractive industries’ impacts on animal health, foods of animal origin and the environment.”
Visit AVMA’s website to view the revised proposed rule, AVMA’s full response to the BLM, and other related resources.