Federal bill to combat public health veterinarian shortage passes House

Apr 18, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Washington — Legislation targeting a shortage of public-health veterinarians passed the House of Representatives—a development lauded by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

“There is a shortage of veterinarians in public health, and that’s unfortunate because veterinarians play a key role in public health,” says AVMA President Dr. Larry Kornegay. “Over the past 25 years, 75 percent of all emerging diseases identified in people were zoonotic in nature.”

A February 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) first highlighted a nationwide shortage of veterinarians, particularly in the public-health sector.

House Resolution 525 would aim to increase the number of public-health veterinarians by offering loan repayment and workforce grants to veterinarians who commit to working in that field.

The bill now moves on to the U.S. Senate for consideration.