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AVMA Lauds Senators for Approving 2007 Farm Bill Legislation that Includes the Veterinary Workforce Grant Program

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) commends the U.S. Senate for passage of the Veterinary Workforce Grant Program (VWGP) as part of the 2007 Farm Bill. This important veterinary education program will help ensure an adequate supply of public health and food safety veterinarians in the future.

"The Farm Bill is vitally important to rural families, rural communities and the nation as a whole. By establishing the Veterinary Workforce Grant Program, the Farm Bill will address the shortage of veterinarians in this country, particularly among those trained in agricultural biosecurity," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. "This bill enjoys strong, bipartisan support, evident by the fact that it passed the Senate by the largest vote since 1973. The Farm Bill still has to get through Conference and must overcome a veto threat, but I am confident that, by early next year, we can produce a solid bill that the president will sign."

"I am proud we were able to include the Veterinary Workforce Grant Program in the 2007 Farm Bill," said Sen. Chambliss (R-Georgia), who coauthored the bill. "Increasing the number of trained veterinary professionals in agricultural biosecurity will bolster our efforts to protect the food supply and mitigate the effects of disease outbreaks. I appreciate the hard work of the American Veterinary Medical Association in this and other areas of critical importance and I look forward to an expeditious passage of the farm bill."

"We would like to thank Senate Agriculture Chair Tom Harkin and ranking member Sen. Saxby Chambliss for their efforts to address the critical shortage of veterinarians," said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, head of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division (GRD). "We are confident that the program will remain in the final version of the Farm Bill signed by President Bush. This program is essential if this country is to maintain food safety standards, promote public health and protect its citizens from disease pandemics."

The AVMA and its more than 75,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at for more information.

SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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