Veterinary Professionals Join HSVMA in Advocating for Animals in 2014

December 16, 2014
by Barbara Hodges, DVM, MBA - HSVMA Veterinary Advisor

More than 1,300 veterinary professionals joined HSVMA in actively advocating for improved animal welfare during 2014. HSVMA members advocated for the well-being of farm animal, companion animal and wildlife species in a variety of ways, including lending their signatures to endorsement letters, calling, emailing and meeting with their legislators in face-to-face appointments, testifying at legislative hearings, writing newsletter columns, submitting letters to the editor and op-eds, and attending veterinary lobbying events.

This veterinary professional support helped convince the AVMA to strengthen their policy on the housing of breeding pigs and was critical in solidifying support for more than a dozen state and five federal bills. What follows are some of the highlights of these activities.

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Matthew Prescott/The HSUS

Petitioning for Improved Pregnant Sow Welfare

HSVMA conducted wide-ranging outreach to veterinary professionals, collecting signatures in support of a petition asking the AVMA to revise their policy statement on pregnant sow housing to require that sows would have enough room to stand up, turn around and stretch. A total of 1,030 veterinary signatures were collected, with signatories representing all 50 states.

Originally intended to be presented during the July AVMA House of Delegates meeting, the resolution was ultimately withdrawn after generating significant discussion about the issue within the veterinary community. Instead, HSVMA agreed to support the AVMA’s alternative resolution that sows should have adequate quantity and quality of space to assume normal postures—certainly a step toward improved sow welfare.

State Legislative Efforts Supported by HSVMA in 2014

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The HSUS

ENDING INHUMANE FARM ANIMAL CONFINEMENT METHODS

New Jersey Bills to Ban Pregnant Sow Gestation Crates – S 998/A 2550

HSVMA recruited New Jersey veterinary members to endorse this legislation as well as to submit supportive letters to the editor and op-eds. The New Jersey Legislature approved the bills but, unfortunately, the legislation was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.

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iStockphoto

PROTECTING COMPANION ANIMALS

Massachusetts Bill to Increase Penalties for Animal Abuse and Require Mandatory Veterinary Reporting of Abuse (Also Provides Immunity to Reporting Veterinarians) – H 4328

HSVMA submitted a support letter and recruited members to support this legislation, which was subsequently passed into law. Mandatory veterinary reporting of animal abuse is now required in Massachusetts.

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John Harrison

DEFENDING WILDLIFE HABITAT AND WELFARE

California Bill to Ban Harmful Rodenticides in Environmentally Sensitive Areas – AB 2657

HSVMA submitted a support letter to ban the use of second generation anti-coagulant rodenticides (SGARs) in environmentally sensitive areas of the state and also advocated for passage of this law during California Humane Lobby Day. The bill successfully passed into law.

Federal Legislative Efforts Supported by HSVMA

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The HSUS

PREVENTING CRUELTY TO HORSES BY SUPPORTING THE PREVENT ALL SORING TACTICS, OR PAST ACT – S 1406/HR 1518

HSVMA submitted an organizational support statement to federal legislators and also activated our veterinary membership in support of this legislation. The measure, which would protect horses from inhumane “soring,” the intentional infliction of pain to horses’ hooves and legs by unscrupulous trainers in order to gain unfair competitive advantage at horse shows, is currently pending in the U.S. Congress.

mobile_equine_vet_supplies_150x150.jpgJulie Austin/ jaustinphotography.com

THE VETERINARY MEDICINE MOBILITY ACT – S 950/HR 1528

HSVMA was pleased to report that the VMMA passed this year. It makes the legislative changes needed to allow licensed veterinarians to transport and dispense controlled substances in the course of providing mobile or ambulatory medical services. Passage was essential for veterinarians practicing under field conditions, conducting house calls or mobile spay/neuter clinics, and in some agricultural and/or wildlife scenarios. HSVMA submitted a support statement and also joined with a coalition of veterinary groups in advocating for the VMMA.

 

Read more about HSVMA legislative and other advocacy efforts»

Want to get involved? Get in touch with us at advocacy@hsvma.org.