Trump clears US Farm Bill – animal health a key priority

21-12-2018 | | |
Photo: Dreamstime
Photo: Dreamstime

Egg producers have welcomed the strong animal health element to the US Farm Bill, which was signed off into law by President Donald Trump this week.

The United Egg Producers (UEP) said the Bill builds upon the existing National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) authority to establish a National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Programme (NADPRP) and National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB).

Enhance disease analysis and surveillance

The NADPRP will work to address the risk of introduction and spread of animal diseases. Under the Programme, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will partner with state departments of agriculture, colleges of veterinary medicine, state of national livestock producer organisations and others to enhance animal pest and disease analysis and surveillance.

It will also expand outreach and education and enhance emergency preparedness and response capabilities. The bill’s National Animal Vaccine Bank will maintain sufficient quantities of veterinary countermeasures to appropriately and rapidly respond to damaging animal diseases, such as avian influenza.

But the legislation also provides $300m in mandatory funding – measures that the UEP said was a “major win for the animal health priorities important to UEP.”

US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the bill “bolsters farm safety net programmes, protects federal crop insurance and maintains strong rural development and research initiatives.”

Mr Perdue added that the Farm Bill should be welcomed by producers, adding that USDA was eager to implement its provisions.

Tony Mcdougal Freelance Journalist