Presidents Message

Dr. Carie Telgen

DC “Fly-in”

I must say how thankful I am for AABP-L and the fact that you all start discussions that are so pertinent to my anticipated President’s message. It really makes writing these so much easier when I know these topics are already on your mind.

The recent discussion on Colorado and Oregon’s legislative bills fits quite nicely with what I was going to write about this month, which was our AABP Executive Committee “D.C. Fly-In”. Every spring, the executive committees of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) and AABP meet in Washington, D.C., to get updates from our key allied organizations that are housed in D.C. We usually spend one day catching up with all of the agencies (of all the letters of the alphabet) and then the next day spend half a day meeting with our own local representatives. Due to COVID-19, we did not have a chance to meet at all in 2020, and this year, we were not able to go to D.C., but were able to meet with the agencies virtually for a solid eight-hour Zoom meeting.

Most of the morning was spent meeting with the AVMA Government Relations Division (GRD). There has been quite a bit of discussion on AABP-L about how AVMA is only small-animal focused. However, the AVMA GRD has repeatedly told us (for at least the last three years I’ve been involved) that by far, the bulk of the legislative issues they are fighting are large-animal-related such as biosecurity and foreign animal diseases, vaccine banks, animal welfare/rights, antimicrobial resistance, etc. They are always looking to AABP and AASV for their thoughts and concerns regarding the issues that are brought to them, and we are very fortunate that they take the time to interact with us on such an extensive level. We have excellent AABP AVMA delegates who fight on our behalf in the AVMA House of Delegate meetings, and the connections we have with the GRD have been strong for several years. I strongly encourage those of you who are not AVMA members to join. Our voice is only as strong as the members we represent.

I took four pages of notes during our session and clearly don’t have room to highlight all of the things we discussed with each agency. Below is a sampling:

There was so much more discussed than what I have time for in this short column. But the key is this – your membership matters, your voice matters. These issues affect our livelihood and that of our clients. We need to stay aware of these issues and be actively involved in having our voices heard. If anyone has any questions on what was discussed, please feel free to reach out to myself, or anyone on the AABP Executive Committee. #agvocation!

Dr. Carie Telgen