APHIS Awards $16.3 Million in Farm Bill Funding to Protect Animal Health

(Farm Journal)

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is awarding more than $16.3 million to 64 projects with states, universities and other partners to strengthen programs to protect animal health.

"Ensuring the health of animals helps protect and preserve U.S. export markets and keeping foreign animal diseases out of the U.S. helps us expand export opportunities for rural America to more and better markets," USDA said in a release.

Not only will this funding support projects focused on enhancing vaccine distribution plans and supporting animal movement decisions in high-consequence animal disease outbreaks, but it will also support delivering outreach and education on animal disease prevention and preparedness and developing point-of-care diagnostic tests to rapidly detect foreign animal diseases. This critical funding also supports projects to enhance early detection of high-impact animal diseases and improve emergency response capabilities at veterinary diagnostic laboratories that are part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), USDA noted.

“These funding awards will help ensure the ongoing health of our nation’s livestock and poultry,” Jenny Lester Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs said in a release. “Safeguarding U.S. animal health helps us expand export opportunities for rural America to more and better markets, while providing consistent access to safe, healthy, and affordable food for U.S. consumers. The preparedness and response activities we are funding today will help us address the animal disease issues of tomorrow and arm us with the best science available to retain international markets and feed our families and the world. I look forward to seeing the progress USDA and its partners make with these funds.”

In the 2018 Farm Bill, funding for these programs was provided as part of an overall strategy to help prevent animal pests and diseases from entering the U.S. and reduce the spread and impact of potential disease incursions with the goal or protecting and expanding market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products. This marks the third year APHIS is providing this Farm Bill funding. Last year, $14.4 million was approved to fund 76 projects.

National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP)

APHIS is awarding $7.6 million through the NADPRP. The 36 NADPRP-funded projects will individually and collectively address critical concerns in areas of vaccine distribution, animal movement and business continuity during a disease outbreak, and disease prevention and preparedness outreach and education. These projects will be led by state animal health authorities in 21 states, land-grant universities and industry/veterinary organizations.

National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN)

APHIS is awarding $4.4 million through the NAHLN. The 21 NAHLN-funded projects will be led by NAHLN laboratories representing 14 states. The projects will help NAHLN enhance early detection of high-consequence animal diseases and improve emergency response capabilities at NAHLN veterinary diagnostic laboratories. This funding is in addition to the $2.5 million provided noncompetitively for NAHLN infrastructure.

Joint NADPRP/NAHLN 

APHIS is awarding $4.3 million for seven NADPRP/NAHLN joint projects representing six states. These projects will support the development and/or evaluation of point-of-care diagnostic tests to enhance the nation’s ability to quickly detect high-consequence FADs and accelerate response and containment efforts. This is the first joint competitive funding opportunity provided by NAHLN and NADPRP.

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