By: Valerie Goddard, staff assistant, Governmental Relations Division
To spur interest in and understanding of the role that veterinary medicine plays in modern society, Congressmen Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) relaunched the Congressional Veterinary Caucus. They will once again serve as caucus co-chairs.
First established in 2012, the bipartisan group serves as a forum to inform and influence members of Congress and their staff about issues and challenges facing practicing veterinarians and veterinary medical education. The caucus helps to ensure that attention and support is given to the broad array of issues impacting animal health and welfare, public health, veterinary medical education, biomedical and agricultural research, food safety and animal disease surveillance.
“Last Congress, we were able to get the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act signed into law and that was by far our biggest accomplishment within the Veterinary Caucus,” said Rep. Schrader. “We built a coalition, working closely with the AVMA and veterinarians all across the country, to garner support for its passage in Congress. The bill ensures that veterinarians are able to continue providing proper care to their patients, unencumbered by the federal government.”
Going forward in the 114th Congress, the caucus plans to focus on the increasing amount of student loan debt facing many veterinary students.
“The caucus’s highest priority going forward is to deal with the prohibitive amount of student loan debt many veterinary students face upon graduation and to make sure that the cost of school is not prohibitive to those looking to pursue a career in veterinary science,” Schrader said.
For more information on the caucus, visit this website.