Why We Advocate
Across the country we see animal lovers propose legislation they think will help animals but that may, in fact, come with unintended consequences. The MVMA advocacy efforts help educate lawmakers and the public to protect animals and safeguard the profession.
At the beginning of each two year legislative session, our state Representatives and Senators file proposed pieces of legislation (bills). The Government Relations and Advocacy Committee (GRAC) is responsible for reviewing all proposed legislation pertaining to veterinarians, veterinary medicine and animals in Massachusetts, and deciding the MVMA's position on each. CLICK HERE to see which bills are priorities for the MVMA this session.
Review, Research, Discuss
There are many factors that are considered when reviewing a proposed piece of legislation.
- Is the bill aligned with positions established by the Animal Welfare or other specialty MVMA committees?
- Is the bill practical?
- Can the bill do what is proposes?
- How will veterinarians be affected?
- What are other states doing regarding this same issue?
- What will be the after-effects of the bill?
After what is often a lengthy discussion, the GRAC determines how the MVMA may or may not proceed. The categorization of bills is as follows:
- No action
Take Action (or Not!)
From this point on, the GRAC, in conjunction with the MVMA’s legal team, monitors every step these bill take as they move through the legislative process. Many times, nothing is done other than monitoring. Less often, the MVMA takes an strong position and works diligently to achieve the outcome most desirable to our members.
The ongoing process is a combination of conversations with allied organizations, negotiation with opposing entities and face-to-face meetings and dialogue with our legislators over the life of the bill.
Ultimately, the MVMA strives to cultivate higher visibility on Beacon Hill for the MVMA and the veterinarians we represent, and to establish MVMA as the key source for information about the health and well-being of animals.
The AVMA takes the lead on all national initiatives, with the MVMA supporting the AVMA Governmental Relations Division through communications with our Senators and Congressional Representatives.
CLICK HERE to see which bills are MVMA's focus this legislative session.