Phil Boerner: 916-649-0599 (California Veterinary Medical Association)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CVMA Supports Effort to Protect Public Health
Sacramento, CA – The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) supports the Veterinary Workforce Expansion Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Charles Pickering (R-MS). Today there is a critical shortage of veterinarians working in regulatory medicine, public health, research, and academia. This bill will ensure there are enough veterinarians to meet the demands of a growing population and a changing society.
Veterinary medicine is an integral and indispensable component of the nation’s public health system—veterinarians protect human health by preventing and controlling infectious diseases, ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply, promoting healthy environments, and providing health care for animals. Veterinarians are essential for early detection and response to disease events, and they play a critical role in other areas like environmental quality, laboratory animal medicine, and drug and vaccine safety.
A need exists to build national capacity in research and training for prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, and control of newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Veterinarians are uniquely qualified to address these high priority public health issues because of their extensive professional training in basic biomedical sciences, population medicine, and the comparative medical approach to disease prevention and control.
“We need more licensed veterinarians to fill the demand in all areas of the profession,” says Jon Klingborg, DVM, president of the CVMA. “In recent years, we’ve seen veterinarian contributions to global health in both humans and animals. For example, it is veterinary science that informs and protects us in the battle against mad cow disease.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 28,000 job openings in the veterinary medical profession by the year 2012, and the nation’s veterinary medical colleges do not have the capacity to satisfy current and future demand for veterinarians and veterinary expertise, both of which are vital to maintain public health and emergency preparedness. The Veterinary Workforce Expansion Act, S. 914 in the U.S. Senate and H.R. 2206 in the U.S. House, will ensure that the nation’s veterinary colleges train enough veterinarians and that all U.S. veterinary medical colleges can undergo capital improvements.
The CVMA is an active supporter of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of the Health Sciences in Pomona and their students, who are the future of the veterinary profession.
“The veterinary medical colleges are a national resource,” says Dr. Bennie Osburn, dean of the UC Davis Veterinary School and president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. “The introduction of this bill is a significant step forward in addressing issues relating to emerging diseases, diseases transmitted from animals to man, and the safety and quality of our nation’s food supply.”
The CVMA supports the effort by Senator Allard and Representative Pickering to expand veterinary public practice programs by increasing capacity in veterinary medical education.
For information about this press release, contact Phil Boerner at the CVMA at (916) 649-0599.
To access past CVMA press releases, visit the CVMA Media Center in the News Room at www.cvma.net.
The California Veterinary Medical Association is the largest state veterinary medical association in the United States, with more than 5,300 members. Founded in 1888, its mission is to serve its membership and community through innovative leadership and to improve animal and human health in an ethically and socially responsible manner.