From an office in the shadows of the U.S. Capitol, a handful of AVMA Governmental Relations Division staff members advocate daily on behalf of more than 85,000 AVMA members. Fortunately, their efforts are bolstered by many of you, who are helping us deliver the professions’ collective voice to Washington, D.C.
Exhibit A: The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act so that veterinarians have the complete and legal ability to provide care to their animal patients beyond their clinics and across state lines, was recently passed by the U.S. Senate and is now headed to the House of Representatives. This critical piece of legislation would allow veterinarians to travel with and use controlled substances – vital medications that can provide pain management, anesthesia or euthanasia.
Thanks to our members and staff, congressional representatives are hearing how important the legislation is to those who practice veterinary medicine. To date, AVMA members have sent more than 25,000 letters to Congress in support of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, and more than 150 congressional members from both sides of the aisle have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation – no small feat during these days of partisan bickering and congressional inaction.
Exhibit B: The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013, which would finally eliminate the abusive act of soring horses by improving the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s enforcement capabilities and strengthening penalties against violators. Soring horses has been illegal for more than 40 years, but it’s still happening. This bill would take important steps to penalize those who choose to sore horses, and hopefully will finally bring an end to this barbaric practice. Once again, thanks to our members and staff, we have been able to generate bipartisan support for this measure from more than 275 congressional co-sponsors.
These are but two examples of how the AVMA – with a huge boost from our members – is advocating on behalf of veterinarians and veterinary medicine. While we can’t predict the outcome of proposed legislation like the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act or the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, we can assure you that the AVMA is representing your interests on Capitol Hill by making sure that your voices are heard.
We’ll keep you posted as things develop on current legislation working its way through the process. In the meantime, check out the AVMA’s advocacy efforts to see what we’re up to and how you can help. Your participation in the political arena matters to you, your profession and your business. By sharing your veterinary expertise, you help the nation’s decision-makers shape public policy to preserve the future of veterinary medicine.