AVMA Responds to Passage of Federal Spending Measure
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) expressed both relief and concern after Congress passed a $182 billion spending package that provides funding for critical animal health, research, livestock production and food-safety programs.
While many animal health and welfare programs have been preserved, others have been cut. These cuts pose challenges for the future.
“The AVMA appreciates the work Congress did in passing this spending measure, particularly in this tough budget environment. The bill continues support for important programs and services administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. “AVMA’s tireless advocacy in defense of continued investments in animal health and welfare, animal research and public health programs staved off what surely could have been deeper and more harmful cuts.”
While funding totals are less than in fiscal year 2011, they maintain continuous support for research on critical agricultural issues, including livestock diseases and food safety, and they maintain the nation’s investment in land-grant and other agricultural colleges and universities.
But not all the news is good, according to Dr. Lutschaunig.
“While we breathe a sigh of relief, we cannot celebrate,” Lutschaunig said. “This year’s appropriations process has been laborious and challenging. While we have some victories in this bill, we understand that AVMA must redouble our efforts to help stave off further attacks to the USDA budget in fiscal year 2013. AVMA will rely heavily upon its Congressional Advocacy Network to help influence Congress in future budget battles.”
The spending package includes the FY 2012 Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills and is often referred to as the “mini-bus” (House Report 112-284). The package also contains a Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shutdown and continue federal operations until Dec. 16, 2011, giving Congress additional time to complete the remaining nine FY 2012 appropriations bills.
For more information on the AVMA’s congressional activities, please visit www.avma.org.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 81,500 member veterinarians worldwide are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities.
SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association