The Captive Primate Safety Act : a case study in veterinary public policy
The historical relationship between veterinary medicine and the government regulation of its interests is extensive. The foremost example of this was the establishment of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1862, and the subsequent elevation of the agency to cabinet status in 1889. The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) was founded as an office within the USDA in 1884, and Daniel Salmon, a Cornell-trained veterinarian, was its first chief. The BAI eventually became what we know as the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Agricultural Research Service. These early examples of federal agencies geared toward animals and agriculture demonstrate the long-standing association between animals, their caretakers, and the federal government. As the nation grew, so, too, did the scope of veterinary medicine. In recent years, legislation regarding horse slaughter, animal ownership, veterinary debt foregiveness, and bioterror preparedness has been debated inside congressional walls. These issues have also been taken on by various lobbies, including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the Humane Society of the United States, and others. The interests of the government and these lobbies may, at various times, coincide or collide; either way, the issues raised present opportunities for professional groups to work with policy-makers for health and welfare reform. The paper examines the author's role in pursuing passage of the Captive Primate Safety Act, a federal measure with animal health, public health, and animal welfare implications. The author lobbied for the bill while externing at the AVMA's Governmental Relation's Division (AVMA-GRD), the advocacy arm of that association. The paper discusses why this bill is relevant to veterinary medicine, and how the author approached the Senate to help elevate the bill into law. It also broaches the broader issue of the nature of the profession's role in pursuing a policy agenda.
Senior seminar paperSeminar SF610.1 2007 C37
Primates -- Laws and legislation -- United States