AVMA members press Congress for illicit xylazine, dog importation laws

Annual legislative fly-in brings veterinarians, veterinary students, and legislators together on Capitol Hill

By R. Scott Nolen
Published: 22 May 2023


Nearly 120 veterinarians and veterinary students urged Congress to support two AVMA-backed bills aimed at ensuring dogs are healthy when imported into the United States and to combat trafficking of the animal sedative xylazine without hindering veterinary access to the drug.

Attendees of the 2023 AVMA annual legislative fly-in, held April 17-19 in Washington, D.C., also sought a funding increase for the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD), from $2.5 million to $5 million annually. The money would go toward attracting scientists to the national food safety program and investing in new technologies.

The fly-in is hosted by the AVMA's advocacy team in the nation's capital to teach attendees how to be effective advocates for the veterinary profession within their state and at the federal level. For the past two years, the popular event was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year saw a return to the in-person format.

In addition to learning the ins and outs of advocacy, attendees heard from AVMA staff members about the broad range of veterinary issues in which the Association is engaged. These issues include animal and public health, animal welfare, small business, telemedicine, scope of practice, and educational debt relief.

When needed, the AVMA will assist state veterinary medical associations with policy issues in their courts and legislatures.

“When we come together, when we have the same message, we can be extremely effective,” Dr. Kent McClure, AVMA's associate executive vice president and chief advocacy officer, told fly-in participants.

To see the full version of this story, visit the AVMA News website.