The Wrap Act, legislation that would have overhauled the state’s recycling system, was tossed in the trash bin last week. The House and Senate bills both passed out of committee, but ultimately never made it to the floor for a vote.
The Wrap Act required the reduction of waste in paper and plastics packaging through a stringent review process of all products coming into Washington. In the original House and Senate bills, all animal drugs except for flea and tick medications would have had to go through a review process, potentially creating the risk that some animal drugs may not be allowed into the state if their packaging doesn’t meet state requirements. Any product with wasteful packaging could be sent back to the manufacturer for redesign but would have the added burden of needing to be re-approved by the FDA and USDA. The process could have effectively delayed drugs indefinitely.
WSVMA’s legislative advocate, Greg Hanon, began working in November with legislators to get animal drugs stricken from the requirements. They acquiesced a little and exempted the primary packaging of USDA vaccines and biologics. But not exempting the package in its entirety could still leave those products out of the hands of veterinarians.
The WSVMA called on members to contact their legislators to help get the message out. Posts were made on social media encouraging pet owners to become involved as well. Eventually, the tide turned and an amendment striking that section of the bill was introduced and passed.
A debt of gratitude to Greg Hanon, who worked overtime convincing legislators of the importance of exempting animal drugs. And the same goes to each member who took the time to communicate with their Senator or Representatives. It made a difference in the outcome.
This is a textbook example of WSVMA’s advocacy for the profession – for veterinarians, patients, owners, and the public. We’re the only organization working to protect your interests at the state level and your involvement is critical to success, whether it’s by paying dues to be a member or writing a letter. Together, we can make a difference to protect the practice of veterinary medicine. If you’re not a member, I encourage you to join. I promise you the rewards of participation with your profession pays dividends.
The Wrap Act may be back again next year, but hopefully the primary legwork for veterinary medicine has been done. If not, you can be sure we’ll let you know.