THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VETERINARY LABORATORY DIAGNOSTICIANS
There is urgent need for funding to keep our advocacy to Congress robust so that we can get the NAHLN funded properly.
Our ultimate goal is $30 M and ALL labs (and USDA and NIFA) will benefit if we can make this happen...we will have to continue to do this in steps and will start with a $15 million authorization in the Farm BIll and build on that.
Thoughts from Dr. Craig Carter, AAVLD past president, as he summarizes the need eloquently.
Why I feel the AAVLD should continue stay fully committed to this effort:
1. Assuring a healthy, functioning NAHLN is directly within the mission and goals of the AAVLD, "Advocate for the role of veterinary diagnostic laboratories in global health."
2. If we hadn't acted to restore the line item, there is a chance we would not have a functioning NAHLN today. How would this have impacted the response to the recent HPAI outbreak. I believe that this response ill go down in history as one of the best planned and coordinated animal health outbreak responses ever. Look how much we learned in Minnesota, Iowa and beyond. The NAHLN is functionally stronger than ever. Imagine what we will be able to do once it is fully funded.
3. I truly believe that in the wake of this HPAI outbreak, the probability of getting the NAHLN fully funded is greater than it ever has. If we weaken our resolve now, we will risk losing out on that opportunity.
4. Our NAHLN is the envy of the world--the AAVLD needs to do everything in its power to support, grow and sustain it. If the AAVLD doesn't do this, who will?
5. I sincerely believe that our membership is proud that the AAVLD laboratories comprise the NAHLN and want our leadership to do everything possible to assure the strength of this network in anticipation of future outbreaks, some of which could dwarf the HPAI outbreak in scope.
To summarize, I propose and strongly encourage the AAVLD Executive Board to stay the course in this important effort. Let's renew our commitment toward the goal of a fully functional NAHLN for the benefit of animal agriculture and society in general through a healthy, wholesome and affordable food supply. I am confident that we can find the resources to get this done if we all put our heads together.
Thanks for listening and thanks for everything y'all do for the AAVLD, animal agriculture, public health and beyond--I am so proud to be a part of this association.
CRAIG N. CARTER, DVM PhD DACVPM DSNAP
Director and Professor,
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
I would only add that from starting at NIFA NAHLN funds being zeroed out and Congress not knowing who we are... to our current level of funding at around $10 to $12 M (NIFA AND USDA) and authorization for $15 in the Farm bill, our progress has been substantial, thanks to the efforts of Brad Mollet and Capital Counsel and all of you who have been on the Hill and/or written letters.
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AAVLD Government Relations Committee