USDA Funding Demonstrates U.S. Commitment to Foreign Animal Disease Prevention and Control

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Farmscape for August 5, 2022

Full Interview 11:32 Listen

The National Pork Producers Council says the allocation of federal funding for African Swine Fever control has made a powerful statement about the U.S. commitment to foreign animal disease prevention. Last month representatives of the National Pork Producers Council, the National Pork Board and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Foreign Agricultural Service traveled to the Dominican Republic for a first hand look at the African Swine Fever situation on the island of Hispaniola. Dr. Anna Forseth, the Director of Animal Health with the National Pork Producers Council, says much of the progress being made in that region is the result of USDA’s financial support.

Clip-Dr. Anna Forseth-National Pork Producers Council:
In September 2021 Secretary Vilsack dedicated 500 million dollars in Commodity Credit Corporation funds toward ASF control efforts in the Dominican and Haiti and ultimately toward prevention of ASF introduction into North America. So, regarding level of progress, a lot of it was tied back to that CCC funding. The funding was obviously a big deal for these two countries but it also made a pretty big statement here at home in the U.S. That’s because it was a lot of money dedicated to a disease that we do not have on U.S. soil so I think it speaks to the importance of ASF control and prevention from the U.S. and from USDA. This funding has been utilized in many ways with a focus to control the virus, specifically from jumping from the island of Hispaniola to Puerto Rico or to the mainland U.S. NPPC is actually going to be travelling to Puerto Rico to get an idea of some of the mitigation measures there that we have implemented in the last one to two years to protect Puerto Rico from an introduction of ASF.

Dr. Forseth says the goal is to keep ASF out of the U.S. so it makes sense to get a boots on the ground view of the situation.

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