The U.S. House of Representatives approved an expansion of the Public Health Workforce Grants and Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Programs to support veterinarians in public health.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) urges the Senate to approve the bill. This change will amend the Public Health Services Act to add veterinary public health as one of the groups eligible for grants to train the public health workforce and would make veterinarians studying public health eligible for loan repayment.

"There is a shortage of veterinarians in public health, and that's unfortunate," says Dr. Larry Kornegay, president of the AVMA. "Over the last 25 years, 75 percent of all the emerging diseases in people were zoonotic, meaning they were diseases that spread from animals to humans. Veterinarians are a key part of our public health workforce."

"For more than 100 years, veterinarians have been responsible for some of the most significant advances in public health," noted Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who sponsored the bill. "They are our frontline of defense against potentially deadly disease outbreaks. The recent cases of salmonella from tainted eggs serve as the latest reminder that diseases can spread rapidly from animals to humans, often with deadly consequences.

"I urge the Senate to consider this measure promptly," Baldwin said.

American Veterinary Medical Association

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