As Congress focuses on reducing spending, we need your help to make sure it doesn’t cut funding for enforcement of vital federal laws that improve animal welfare.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) enforces laws like the Animal Welfare Act, the Horse Protection Act, and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. These laws ensure basic welfare for millions of animals at more than 19,000 sites across the country, including high volume dog breeding facilities, medical laboratories, zoos, and slaughterhouses.
The USDA also administers the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, which places veterinarians in underserved areas of the country, and the APHIS / Emergency Management Systems / Disaster Planning for Animals program, which develops infrastructure to help prepare for and respond to animal issues in a disaster. These programs are also essential for animal health and welfare.
However, these laws and programs are only effective if the USDA has the appropriate funding to implement and enforce them.
Right now, two Members of Congress, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), are asking their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sign a letter of support to protect the ongoing funding of these animal welfare programs. The letter will soon be submitted to the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. It’s an uphill struggle, particularly this year with so much budget tension.
March 20th is the deadline to sign onto the letter. We need AVMA’s members to call your legislators right now and tell them to sign onto the letter today!