VSIA addresses veterinary service shortage

Article

Washington -- The Veterinary Services Investment Act (VSIA), which will establish grants to confront veterinary-service shortages, was introduced by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and John Thune (R-S.D.).

Washington

-- The Veterinary Services Investment Act (VSIA), which will establish grants to confront veterinary-service shortages, was introduced by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and John Thune (R-S.D.).

The Senate bill, a companion bill to House bill 3519, would establish a new grant program to assist states in addressing their veterinary workforce needs. Grants could be used for recruiting veterinarians to work in underserved areas, bolstering food safety and conducting surveillance of animal disease.

Support for the bills is high, with 28 representatives signing on to co-sponsor H.B. 3519 and 89 veterinary and agricultural groups, including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), endorsing the VSIA. Additionally, 18 senators have committed to co-sponsoring the Senate bill.

"Senators Stabenow and Thune and their colleagues are voicing support for maintaining public health, food safety and animal health by bolstering the veterinary workforce," says Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, AVMA Chief Executive Officer."The Veterinary Services Investment Act will significantly help bring much-needed veterinarian services to areas of our country in need."

Under the VSIA, veterinary clinics in rural areas and state, national, allied or regional veterinary organizations, specialty boards or veterinary medical associations would be eligible to apply for grants. Veterinary colleges, university research and veterinary medical foundations, departments of veterinary science and comparative medicine, state agricultural experiment stations and state, local and tribal government agencies also would be eligible.

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