With strong support from the AVMA, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has reintroduced legislation that would be an important step in implementing a nationwide, One Health approach to combat zoonotic diseases.
The Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act (S. 861 /H.R. 2061 ) focuses on prevention and improved coordination among federal agencies. It would direct the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Interior to develop a One Health Framework that would accomplish these goals:
- Advance workforce development related to preventing and responding to disease outbreaks in animals and humans
- Improve coordination between federal agencies that study human and animal health and the environment
- Advance scientific understanding of the connections among human, animal, and environmental health
The bill was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by the Veterinary Medicine Caucus co-chairs: Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), a veterinarian; and Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.). The Senate bill was reintroduced by Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).
As lawmakers have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of animals, humans, and the environment are more interconnected than ever. Through a coordinated One Health approach, this bill would help ensure that federal agencies are better equipped to prepare and respond to zoonotic disease outbreaks.
The AVMA is working with House and Senate offices to generate cosponsors and pass the legislation in this Congress.
You can ensure the voice of the veterinary profession is heard by urging your senators and representatives to cosponsor the Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act.
Posted March 26, 2021