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To expand the workforce of veterinarians specialized in the care and conservation of wild animals and their ecosystems, and to develop educational programs focused on wildlife and zoological veterinary medicine.
Wildlife Veterinarians Employment and Training Act or the Wildlife VET Act This bill authorizes the Department of the Interior to award grants to wildlife or veterinary institutions to create additional clinical and research positions for wildlife and zoological veterinarians. Preference must be given to institutions that will create positions in areas of need, including wildlife disease research and training, disease surveillance, ecology and wildlife population management, and conservation and management of the health of endangered, threatened, and sensitive species. Interior must establish: (1) the Wildlife and Zoological Veterinary Workforce Loan Repayment Program to pay educational loans of eligible individuals for a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine or a graduate degree in veterinary medicine, and (2) the Wildlife and Zoological Veterinary Workforce Scholarship Program to award students enrolled in an accredited school or college of veterinary medicine scholarships. Those loans may be repaid and the awards may be given only if the recipient of the loan or the award agrees to serve for at least four consecutive years at a wildlife or veterinary institution as a wildlife or zoological veterinarian. Interior must also: (1) establish a pilot program to award grants to accredited schools and colleges of veterinary medicine to develop or improve new or existing curricula that specialize in wildlife or zoological veterinary medicine, and (2) award grants to eligible wildlife or veterinary institutions to establish or expand training programs that will enhance the ability of a trainee to practice as a wildlife or zoological veterinarian.
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Committee on AgricultureLivestock and Foreign AgricultureNational Parks, Forests, and Public LandsWater, Oceans, and WildlifeCommittee on Natural ResourcesIntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2017
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