The U.S. Congress is considering legislation that would help address the critical shortage of public-health veterinarians in the United States. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) introduced "The Veterinary Public Health Workforce Expansion Act of 2007" (S. 746/H.R. 1232) in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives respectively.
If passed, the Act will establish a competitive federal grants program to build research, diagnostic and training capacity in the nation's veterinary medical colleges. The funding would allow for classroom construction, as well as teaching facilities, diagnostic and research laboratories needed to increase the number of veterinarians trained each year. The United States' 28 veterinary colleges now graduate 2,500 veterinarians annually, which is not enough to meet the future estimated needs, according to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
According to several recent studies, the United States is facing a critical shortage of veterinarians in public-health practice areas such as food safety and security, bioterrorism and emergency preparedness, environmental health, regulatory medicine, diagnostic laboratory medicine, food systems veterinary medicine and biomedical research. This legislation is supported by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians