USDA Awards $14.4 Million in Farm Bill Funding to Protect Animal Health

African swine fever virus infects a macrophage.
African swine fever virus infects a macrophage.
(Ben Clark, PIADC)

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is awarding $14.4 million to 76 projects with states, universities and other partners to strengthen animal health programs.

From increasing practical livestock biosecurity measures to advancing rapid depopulation and disposal abilities during high-consequence animal disease outbreaks, the funding will support endeavors to protect animal health in the U.S. According to a USDA release, the funding will also fund projects to enhance early detection of high-consequence animal diseases and improve emergency response capabilities at National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) veterinary diagnostic laboratories. 

“We continue to use our Farm Bill funds to increase our capabilities and prepare for potential foreign animal disease incursions,” USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach said in the release. “Our consultation board and leaders in animal health and laboratory diagnostics provided recommendations for the type of projects we would fund, to make sure we were targeting these funds where they can make the most impact. Our partners across states, laboratories and industry alike will benefit from the projects we are funding today.” 

This is the second year of funding from the 2018 Farm Bill as part of an overall strategy to help prevent animal pests and diseases from entering the country and reduce the spread and impact of potential disease incursions. Last year, APHIS provided $10.2 million to fund 44 projects. 

This year’s funding will support:

  • National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program 
    $9.3 million will support 46 National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) projects that will address critical livestock biosecurity and large-scale depopulation and carcass disposal concerns in all major livestock industries across all regions of the U.S. These projects will be led by state animal health authorities in 16 states,14 land-grant universities and 2 industry/veterinary organizations. 

    > 24 projects will focus on livestock biosecurity 
    > 22 projects will focus on large-scale animal depopulation and carcass disposal in animal disease outbreak response events
    > 12 of the projects are national in scope
    > 7 of the projects have a regional scope 
    > 27 projects focus on state-specific issues
  • National Animal Health Laboratory Network 
    $5.1 million will help fund 30 National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) projects to be led by NAHLN laboratories in 21 states. The projects will focus on early detection of high-consequence animal diseases and improve emergency response capabilities at NAHLN veterinary diagnostic laboratories. In addition, some of the projects are aimed at improving diagnostic testing for high concern diseases, including African swine fever, classical swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza. 

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