Legislation would increase funding for foreign animal health programs

A bill that’s been introduced into Congress would make critical investments in foreign animal disease response programs.

Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon says the goal of the bipartisan legislation is simple. “We want to expand this ability to stop animal diseases in (their) tracks.”

The legislation would boost funding for three animal health programs established in the 2018 Farm Bill and Bacon describes how those funds would be used to safeguard against African Swine Fever. “Provides more money to stop the spread of this and stop it from coming into our country. More detection, so we’re putting more money towards it.  But, we also need more money toward research and vaccines that can also eliminate African Swine Fever.”

The Foreign Animal Disease, Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act of 2023 would provide USDA additional funding for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB), the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP), and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Todd Wilkinson says a foreign animal disease outbreak represents an existential threat to producers and threatens food and national security.

The bill was also introduced in the House by Angie Craig (D-MN), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Jim Costa (D-CA), and Don Davis (D-NC) and in the Senate by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

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