By: Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director, Governmental Relations Division
On Feb. 4, I had the opportunity to attend the Georgia Veterinarians’ Day at the Capitol event in Atlanta. This event has been held for nine years and is designed to provide the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) members with the opportunity to learn more about the association’s work in the state capital and about how decisions made in the capital impact their local communities and the veterinary profession.
Among the highlights of the day was a visit to the capitol building, where the House and Senate acknowledged the GVMA through resolutions recognizing Georgia veterinarians, and a visit by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who discussed various issues important to the veterinary profession. The event also included visits by the Georgia secretary of state, Georgia House Agriculture Committee chair, Georgia State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb, Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine’s Dr. John Sundstrom and the University of Georgia-College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Sheila Allen (Go Bulldogs!).
The GVMA provided me the opportunity to discuss the AVMA’s federal legislative initiatives. We discussed the status of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act and the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act.
The attendees were also very interested in the status of compounding legislation on the federal level. I explained that while a compounding bill for human medicine was passed last year, it did not address animal compounding. The AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division has been working with the Food and Drug Administration and Congress to see if we can address some of the issues surrounding animal compounding, including when it is appropriate to compound from bulk ingredients and how veterinarians can maintain office stock for emergency situations.