It’s no secret that the U.S. government has a limited budget and that members of Congress must make difficult choices about how to spend it. Because of competing priorities, many programs important to veterinary medicine are at risk for funding cuts this year.
That’s why the AVMA is urging Congress to provide adequate funding for issues important to the veterinary community, including animal health, animal welfare and public health.
Members of Congress are working now to define funding levels for fiscal year 2018. Affected are agencies and programs that are vital to advancing animal health, animal welfare and public health – including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; the USDA’s Research, Education and Extension programs; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine; and the National Institutes of Health. Without adequate funding, these agencies may be unable to effectively engage in activities like monitoring disease outbreaks in animals, combatting antimicrobial resistance and protecting the welfare of animals covered by the Animal Welfare and Horse Protection Acts. Grants and loan repayment programs for veterinarians also are at risk; these include the Veterinary Services Grant Program and the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program.
The AVMA is working hard to ensure these initiatives receive needed funding. Our Washington staff meets regularly with members of Congress and their staff to share the importance of these agencies and their programs, and we are lending support to several coalition letters urging adequate funding for the USDA and the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, we’ve submitted a statement for the record to the House Agriculture Committee in support of agricultural research programs in the Farm Bill that are due to be reauthorized in 2018.
Your assistance is critical. The AVMA Congressional Advocacy Network makes it easy for you to identify and contact your own representatives in Congress to urge them to support these important agencies and programs. Our pre-written, editable letter gives you a quick and easy tool to influence your representatives and make a real difference in this campaign.
As the national voice representing all veterinarians, we understand how important it is that Congress funds initiatives that support animal health, animal welfare and public health. Many programs vital to veterinary medicine are facing threats this year – but you can help us protect them. Visit our Congressional Activities page for more information on our federal funding priorities.