Alexander: President Signs Legislation to Keep Animals Healthy, Protect Food Supply

Posted on August 15, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 2018 – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said legislation signed into law by President Trump yesterday will help farmers in Tennessee keep their animals healthy.

“A farmer in Tennessee knows the drug he has given to his calf is safe for the same reason we know that the medicines patients take are safe—the Food and Drug Administration has approved it,” Alexander said. “Today President Trump signed into law critical legislation that will help bring new drugs to farmers and ranchers, families, and veterinarians to keep our pets healthy, prevent outbreaks of disease, and protect our food supply.”

FDA and the animal drug industry began working on reauthorizing agreements for generic animal drugs in August of 2016, and they began meeting on the agreements for brand animal drugs two months later. Since November 2017, the Senate health committee has held eight bipartisan staff briefings. On February 13, the Senate health committee held a hearing to hear from FDA’s Director for the Center for Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Solomon, on the agreements and challenges to improving animal health. On February 28, the Committee passed legislation reauthorizing these agreements by a vote of 22-1.

On July 16, the House of Representatives passed by unanimous consent this bipartisan consensus legislation, after working to address differences between the House and Senate bills and incorporate input and changes from Senator Alexander and Senate health committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The Senate passed the legislation by voice vote on July 31.