Veterinarians take action on legislation at Western Veterinary Conference

By: Stephanie Fisher, program manager and policy analyst, Governmental Relations Division

The AVMA Congressional Advocacy Network (AVMA-CAN) just returned from a whirlwind week at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas. AVMA staff spoke with veterinarians and other professionals at the conference about pressing legislation currently facing the profession.

The latest legislative issue is the reintroduction of the so-called Fairness to Pet Owners Act.  Like its predecessor in the previous Congress, the legislation would require a veterinarian to provide a client with a written prescription for domesticated household animals, whether or not requested by the client. Many veterinary advocates sent letters to Capitol Hill encouraging their Members of Congress to oppose the bill. More than 2,000 letters have already been sent up to Capitol Hill on this issue, but we need more veterinarians to take action. Be sure to contact your member of Congress about this bill and tell your colleagues to as well!

AVMA staff also talked to conference attendees about other important bills, such as the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (S. 1171), which will allow veterinarians to legally bring and use controlled substances beyond their clinics, and the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S.1406/H.R. 1518), which seeks to eliminate the abusive act of soring.

This month, we will be busy with a visit to the SAVMA Symposium at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colo., from March 20-22. If you are veterinary student planning on attending, be sure to stop by the AVMA-CAN booth to hear about the opportunities AVMA has to offer in Washington, D.C.! Also be sure to follow AVMA-CAN on Twitter throughout the conference.

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