With Farm Bill negotiations ongoing in D.C., ag groups around the country are working to get their priorities included. This includes the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which is seeking more funds for the Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank.
“We created this bank so that down the road for our pork friends, if there’s an ASF vaccine and they want it in there, then we can find some dollars and pop it in there. But with this vaccine bank, we did get a little bit of funding last time around. We’d like to see some more funding,” says Allison Rivera, NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs.
“The amount of money that we’ve asked for last time and that we’re asking for again this time is based off a study out of Iowa State. So, this go around we are again asking for more of those dollars so that we can make sure that we have enough antigen and that our bank is robust.”
Rivera says USDA recently awarded funding through the 2018 Farm Bill’s National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program, or NADPRP.
“Things like NADPRP have allowed states to apply for grants to be better prepared in the case of a foreign animal disease outbreak. So, the Secure Beef Supply plan is another great show of those resources, of those government dollars, that are going towards better preparing our states to work together in the case of a foreign animal disease outbreak.”
Rivera says Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks have occurred recently off the coast of Australia and Indonesia, increasing the importance of preparedness here in the U.S.
Source: USDA News Service