NPPC Commends House Lawmakers for African Swine Fever Funding Request

8

The National Pork Producers Council today commended seven House members for requesting funding to protect the U.S. swine herd from African swine fever (ASF).

In a letter sent yesterday, the lawmakers urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to prioritize funding for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to address a potential outbreak in the United States of ASF, which recently was detected in the Dominican Republic, the first time in 40 years the disease has been in the Western Hemisphere. Funds are necessary “to ensure that pork producers in our districts and across the country do not suffer the severe consequences of a potential ASF outbreak in the United States,” the lawmakers said. Signing the letter were House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-GA), panel members Cindy Axne (D-IA), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Jim Costa (D-CA), Angie Craig (D-MN) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), whose district includes a significant amount of pork production.

“Although ASF isn’t a threat to people, among hogs it’s highly contagious, with mortality rates approaching 100 percent. We need to be prepared to deal with this disease, which would be devastating to pork producers,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson. “It’s critical that USDA have adequate funds to address ASF, so NPPC and the 60,000-plus pork producers it represents are grateful to the lawmakers who made this funding request to Speaker Pelosi.”

The lawmakers asked the speaker to include in the next continuing resolution or supplemental appropriations bill $75 million for:

  • The National Veterinary Stockpile for large animal depopulation and disposal equipment. If ASF is detected in the U.S., large-scale euthanasia or depopulation of animals will be necessary for the emergency control and eradication of ASF.
  • Additional staff for APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) field force to respond to and address an outbreak of ASF or other foreign animal disease.

The National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), which provides disease surveillance and diagnostic support.