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Hoeven Comments on USDA's First Investment in Vaccine Bank
North Dakota Ag Connection - 07/09/2020

Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Wednesday issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a $27.1 million purchase of a foot-and-mouth-disease (FMD) vaccine for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB). The NAVVCB was established by the 2018 Farm Bill, for which Hoeven served as a conference committee member.

"We worked to establish a national animal vaccine bank in the 2018 Farm Bill, and we welcome this investment in a FMD vaccine," said Hoeven. "USDA's investment in this animal vaccine bank will help address risks to animal health and provide important safeguards for our nation's livestock industry."

The National Milk Producers Federation also praised USDA for taking the critical step in modernizing FMD preparedness for U.S. dairy farmers.

The initial purchase culminates a multi-year effort by NMPF and other livestock organizations working with USDA to update U.S. preparedness for a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.

"NMPF appreciates the leadership shown by Congress in including FMD preparedness in the 2018 Farm Bill and USDA in moving forward with implementation," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. "A modernized vaccine bank signals appropriate vigilance against a threat that, while not a present danger, is always a potential risk."

The U.S. has not had an FMD outbreak since 1929. Still, recent foreign animal disease outbreaks in the U.S. of avian influenza and porcine epidemic diarrhea has focused attention on the importance of preparedness for other diseases, including FMD, for which outbreaks would have profound effects on international trade and animal health.

NMPF's Board of Directors in 2014 endorsed a set of FMD priorities for the U.S. dairy industry, including modernizing the FMD vaccine bank, which enabled NMPF to advocate for dedicated funding in the 2018 Farm Bill. This first purchase agreement for FMD vaccine is part of a multi-year USDA commitment to modernize the FMD vaccine bank.

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