Congress is debating how much money to provide federal agencies that support key veterinary and agriculture programs. The AVMA is taking the opportunity to highlight the programs that are important to animal and public health.
On Nov. 5, the AVMA sent a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders urging them to quickly pass fiscal 2016 appropriations bills that include funding for agriculture and research programs. The AVMA reiterated its support for: fully funding the National Animal Health Laboratory Network; restoring funding to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; maintaining support for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program and the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank; and increasing funding for the Agriculture Research Service (ARS), the competitively awarded Agriculture and Food Research Institute (AFRI), and other important programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition, the AVMA joined with two coalitions in highlighting important programs that need scientific research funding at the USDA and the National Institutes of Health. The AVMA was one of more than 500 organizations that signed onto a letter on Nov. 2 urging lawmakers “to make strong investments in America’s innovation ecosystem” one of the highest priorities by increasing federal research funding by at least 5.2 percent above fiscal year 2015 levels. That letter was organized by the Task Force on American Innovation and was signed by 13 science coalitions, including three of which the AVMA is an active member—the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, the AFRI Coalition, and the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research (NCFAR).
On Nov. 5, the AVMA also signed onto a NCFAR letter that focused on funding for the ARS, the AFRI, the Economic Research Service, and the National Agriculture Statistics Service.
Both the Senate and House Appropriations Committees are working on an omnibus spending package to complete the fiscal 2016 appropriations bills. The current continuing resolution, which funds federal agencies in the interim, expires Dec. 11.