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Veterinary professionals to meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers
Veterinary professionals and lawmakers will meet this week to discuss the importance of legislation to help increase access to veterinary services and student loan debt.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) will conduct their annual legislative fly-in this week. Two hundred veterinarians representing 48 states and 30 veterinary schools will teach congressional offices about the importance of the Healthy Dog Importation Act and the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) Enhancement Act.
According to an association release,1 the VMLRP is endorsed by AVMA and will help increase veterinary service access in rural areas. Meanwhile, the Healthy Dog Importation Act, championed by the AVMA, will help stop the spread of diseases that threaten animal and public health.
"The veterinary community stands united in advocating for Congress to help alleviate Veterinarian Shortage Situations in rural areas by assisting with the significant obstacle of student debt, and to ensure that dogs entering the country are healthy, thus reducing the potential for the spread of diseases that can endanger animal and public health," said José Arce, DVM, president of the AVMA.1
“As veterinary constituents, we look forward to educating Congress about how vital the VMLRP Enhancement Act is to maintaining vibrant rural communities and the importance of strengthening our nation's animal and public health infrastructure by passing the Healthy Dog Importation Act," Arce continued.
The VMLRP Enhancement Act would end federal taxation on VMLRP awards, making it possible for veterinarians to participate in a program to exchange working for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Veterinary Shortage Situations for up $25,000 in student loan repayments.1 If passed, this would also award the same for the similar program offered to physicians.
According to the release, with the Healthy Dog Importation Act, the USDA and other federal agencies would gain the necessary resources to safeguard and monitor the health of dogs brought into the United States while ensuring they do not put the health of humans or other animals at risk.1
Veterinarians to meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers to discuss student debt, healthy dog importation. News Release. American Veterinary Medical Association. April 15, 2022. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/veterinarians-to-meet-with-capitol-hill-lawmakers-to-discuss-student-debt-healthy-dog-importation-301532235.html