The AVMA is pleased that a veterinarian, Secretary Sonny Perdue, DVM, was confirmed to the position of United States Secretary of Agriculture. With the country facing challenges and opportunities on issues requiring veterinary expertise, such as animal health, animal welfare and public health, having strong veterinary leadership at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is more important than ever.
Veterinarians possess unique medical expertise that drives scientifically sound policy decisions. Veterinary leadership at all levels of the USDA is crucial to creating and executing effective policies, and Secretary Perdue’s appointment is an encouraging sign that veterinarians will continue to be valued at the agency.
Including input from veterinarians in USDA decisions is increasingly important as advancing technologies and science-based evidence shed light on the interdependency of animal health and human health. Keeping food supplies safe, ensuring responsible drug use and preventing zoonotic disease are all areas within which collaboration among veterinary medicine and other scientific, health and environmental disciplines is valuable. The AVMA supports this collaboration through One Health, and veterinary leadership at the USDA offers further opportunities to implement One Health principles through public policy.
Secretary Perdue earned his DVM from the University of Georgia in 1971.