Thursday, August 3, 2023

Bipartisan Group Focused on Boosting Veterinary Medicine Roles in Public Health, Food Supply & Medical Research

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today announced the creation of the inaugural Senate Veterinary Medicine Caucus to raise awareness of the multitude of ways veterinarians contribute to society and the important related policy challenges, including a growing shortage of public service and rural large animal veterinarians.

“The challenges facing the veterinary profession have the potential to harm broad segments of our society, particularly in rural America where a growing shortage of large animal veterinarians is critical.  We formed this bipartisan caucus to focus attention on those issues in order to develop and enact policies that make this vital industry stronger,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Veterinarians provide a critical service to farmers, ranchers, and families,” said Klobuchar.  “The bipartisan Senate Veterinary Medicine Caucus will give Congress new opportunities to work with veterinarians across the country to better support medical advancements, protect our nation's food supply, and to ensure the prevention of animal disease.”

In addition to co-chairs Hyde-Smith and Klobuchar, the bipartisan caucus includes Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.), and U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

The caucus will emphasize the broader scope of the veterinary profession beyond the majority of veterinarians now practicing in small animal clinics, particularly the roles veterinarians play to support public health, the food supply, and medical research.

The caucus was created to inform public policy that recognizes the crucial roles of veterinarians in all forms of clinical practice and in non-clinical roles, including federal inspection of meat, poultry, and catfish products; comparative medical research benefitting both people and animals; and animal and zoonotic disease prevention, detection and response.

More:  Opinion | Wanted: More livestock veterinarians in rural communities