WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced a bipartisan bill Thursday aimed at increasing the number of large-animal veterinarians in rural areas.
The legislation would give grants to states and veterinary schools for tech recruitment, expansion of residency coordination between states that do not have veterinary colleges and continuing education.
“We must address the critical shortage of veterinarians who can care for large animals,” said Klobuchar in a statement. “Veterinarians provide crucial services to our livestock, to our agricultural industry and to our rural communities. With this legislation, we can give states the resources they need to address this shortage and make sure our animals get the care they need.”
According to Klobuchar’s office, five counties in Minnesota have only one livestock veterinarian for every 100,000 farm animals. Blue Earth County has only one “food-animal” veterinarian for 550,000 animals.
Sens. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, and John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, also cosponsored the Veterinary Services Investment Act.