Summer 2019
House Appropriation Bills & AAVMC Interests
The House passed 10 of the 12 Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bills, including funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture. The legislation includes significant increases for key AAVMC priorities:
The Senate continues to work on its own bills. The AAVMC worked with the APLU, PEW and other organizations to achieve language in the House Agriculture Committee Report that supports research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The language directs USDA to develop a strategic approach that coordinates all antimicrobial resistance projects in the Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area.

NIAMRRE Stakeholders Meet in Iowa
The National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE) in Ames, Iowa, hosted a major developmental meeting May 14-16. AAVMC CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe and Governmental Affairs Director Kevin Cain were among about 30 stakeholders representing universities, associations and institutes involved with AMR who attended. The meeting was organized to sharpen and build consensus for NIAMRRE's mission, vision, strategy, goals, organizational structure, and membership. NIAMRRE was established at Iowa State University as the result of a joint Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture that AAVMC and APLU created in 2014.
Federal One Health Bill Introduced
The federal government will adopt a One Health approach by more efficiently coordinating resources based in various agencies if the recently introduced Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act is passed. The legislation will build on existing work underway in federal agencies by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the USDA to coordinate programs and resources with other agencies within a One Health Framework. The bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Todd Young (R-Indiana). Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL), chairs of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus, introduced companion bill (HR 3771) in the House.
PREDICT Program Briefing Held on Capitol Hill
Officials from the University of California - Davis School of Veterinary Medicine working with the U.S. Agency for International Development's Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program presented a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill July 9. The presentation was titled " Emerging Pandemic Threats: Are we Ready for the Next Viral Outbreak? The Role of the United States in Securing Global Health." Speakers from the university's One Health Institute included Christine Kreuder Johnson and Jonna Mazet. Other speakers included the EcoHealth Alliance's William Karesh and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Suzanne Murray. PREDICT is a 10-year old program that's protecting global health by detecting viruses with pandemic potential that can move between animals and people.

USDA Assumes Responsibility for NBAF from Homeland Security
USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Scott Hutchins, and DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology William Bryan.
Ownership and operational responsibility for the nation's $1.25 billion National Bio and Agro-Defense (NBAF) facility, under construction in Manhattan, Kansas, will be transferred from the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Agriculture. Under the terms of a Memorandum of Agreement, DHS retains responsibility for completing construction and commissioning of the $1.25 billion facility, while USDA will assume responsibility for all operational planning and eventual operation of the facility. Construction of NBAF is expected to be completed in December 2020 and the facility will be commissioned in May 2021, when the formal transfer will take place. AAVMC Governmental Affairs Director Kevin Cain attended the signing ceremony.
AAVMC Focused on NIFA Engagement
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proceeding with the relocation of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) from Washington, D.C. to Kansas City. The agencies will likely experience some staffing changes as a result of some government employees who do not wish to move. NIFA administers two key programs important to veterinary medicine - the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program and the VSGP program. To ensure continuity and minimize the risks of program disruption, AAVMC Governmental Affairs Director Kevin Cain and AVMA Government Relations Division Assistant Director Alexandra Sands are working closely with agency staff during the transition. Click here to read a July 16 letter sent to NIFA Director D. J. Scott Angle by the AAVMC and the AVMA.
HABRI, Mars Present Social Isolation and Companion Animals Symposium
Social scientists continue to document the myriad health benefits of the human animal bond. The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), which curates the world's largest repository of this scientific literature, is working through a variety of programs to build public understanding and support in this area. In May, HABRI and Mars co-hosted the first-ever " Summit on Social Isolation and Companion Animals" in Washington, D.C. The Summit featured presentations from a series of experts and stakeholders who are supporting and conducting scientific research, sharing best practices, and advancing awareness about the enormous role companion animals and human-animal interaction can play in addressing social isolation and loneliness. The AAVMC is a supporting partner of HABRI and was represented at the event by CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe and Governmental Affairs Director Kevin Cain.
AAVMC/FFAR Student Research Scholars
The AAVMC is collaborating with the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) on a new program designed to develop new generations of veterinary medical scientists interested in research careers in global food security and sustainable animal production. The Veterinary Student Research Fellowships to Address Global Challenges in Food and Agriculture Program (FFAR Vet Fellows) creates three-month fellowships for up to 10 veterinary students to conduct research with a mentor. The fellowships culminate with student presentations at the annual National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held annually in late July/early August. The AAVMC has been a supporter of FFAR since it was created through the Farm Bill six years ago.
Cain Meets with California-Davis Leadership on Federal Legislative Agenda

AAVMC Governmental Affairs Director Kevin Cain visited the University of California - Davis School of Veterinary Medicine April 18-20. While there he toured the school, met with personnel and briefed the Dean's Leadership Team on the current legislative affairs agenda in Washington.
Advocacy Letters
The AAVMC continues to work closely with a wide array of organizations that share our interests in supporting the advancement of academic veterinary medicine, food security and public health. The letters below reflect some of that recent activity.
Please contact: AAVMC Governmental Affairs Director Kevin Cain at or 202-371-9195 (ext. 117) with any comments, questions and suggestions about our program.

Association of American Veterinary
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