AVMA requests funding for key programs that promote public, animal health

By: Dr. Ashley Morgan, assistant director, Governmental Relations Division

The AVMA has joined other stakeholders in supporting funding for several important initiatives for veterinary medicine.

On Oct. 24, the AVMA joined a coalition of stakeholders (see letter) with an interest in biodefense and public health preparedness in supporting robust and sustained funding of public health emergency and biosecurity programs that are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. These programs include:

  • the Hospital Preparedness Program, which ensures that hospitals are ready to effectively respond in emergencies;
  • the Public Health Emergency Preparedness grant program, which supports state and local public health preparedness capabilities;
  • the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise, which funds the development and manufacturing of essential medical products such as vaccines and therapeutics; and
  • the Strategic National Stockpile, which maintains caches of medical products for use in emergencies.

Programs such as these are essential to ensuring that our nation is prepared against threats. The AVMA partnered with public health preparedness colleagues on this effort to better highlight the interrelationship between animal health and human health.

On Oct. 27, the AVMA signed a letter urging the Office of Management and Budget to provide the necessary resources to implement the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recommendations to combat antibiotic resistance. This funding initiative was led by the Stakeholder Forum on Antibiotic Resistance (S-FAR), an informal coalition of organizations concerned about the antibiotic resistance issue. The letter was also signed by others with a deep interest in this issue, including those representing healthcare providers, patients, scientists, industry and public health.

The AVMA’s members are committed to our role in ensuring judicious use of antibiotics, and the AVMA has been very engaged with federal agencies and other stakeholders on this issue. The association is also currently reviewing the PCAST report, Combating Antibiotic Resistance, which was released Sept. 18, along with a National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. The Obama administration has made it clear that it is very important to address this growing public and animal health challenge.

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