The House of Representatives approved $19.6 million in funds for more agricultural inspectors at U.S. land, air, and seaports.
The main goal is to keep African Swine Fever and other foreign animal diseases from getting into the United States.
The funding is a part of the fiscal year 2020 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill and a top priority for the National Pork Producers Council.
“For more than a year, the NPPC has advocated for an increase in the number of agricultural inspectors at our borders,” says NPPC President David Herring. “We applaud the approval of an essential provision to reduce the risk of ASF and other diseases, as well as to protect the rural economy from a devastating outbreak.”
The NPPC also says they would also like to thank USDA and Customs and Border Protection for all they have done to strengthen U.S. biosecurity.
The most likely path for a foreign animal disease to enter the country would be through the importation of infected animals or contaminated products.
An outbreak would immediately close U.S. pork export markets, causing significant economic harm to U.S. farmers, consumers, and the overall economy.
Herring adds, “NPPC continues to advocate for other disease preparedness measures, including establishing a U.S. Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank as provided for in the 2018 Farm Bill.”