Bipartisan Amendment to Support the Treatment and Prevention of Agriculture Virus Outbreaks Approved by Senate
Mar 27 2015
WASHINGTON–– An amendment, offered by Arkansas Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Delaware Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, that seeks to improve prevention and treatment measures that would mitigate the impact of virus outbreaks—such as the avian flu—on agriculture and the economy was approved this morning as part of the Manager’s Amendment to the Senate-passed FY16 Budget Resolution.
These outbreaks can affect our country’s food supply chain and the millions of people who work in the American agriculture industry. The bipartisan amendment would support vaccine development or research on migratory patterns, including surveillance of infected migratory birds and modeling to predict the path of the virus.
“Poultry is vital to Arkansas’s agriculture industry and a major contributor to our state’s economy,” Sen. Boozman said. “Arkansas is the second largest producer of broiler chickens in the country. This deficit neutral amendment aims to ensure the health of Arkansas’s poultry industry by focusing on disease prevention, vaccine development and research.”
“The poultry industry is vital to Arkansas, and any unchecked viral outbreak would cripple our state economy,” Sen. Cotton said. “In light of the recent H2N2 outbreak in Boone county, it’s prudent to ensure the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission have the resources they need to stop both this disease and any others that may occur.”
“Agriculture is a vital industry in Delaware that supports thousands of jobs in our state and feeds millions in this country and around the world,” Sen. Carper said. “Viruses, like the avian flu, can pose a huge threat to the agricultural sector and specifically the poultry industry in the First State. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and this amendment would help ensure we’re doing everything we can to prevent an outbreak, which could have economic consequences.”
“Even a single case of avian flu can have a devastating impact on America's poultry industry and local chicken growers," Sen. Coons said. “As the first cases of avian flu were found in the northwestern United States in December, and since it moved to the Midwest and central U.S., nearly a dozen countries, including China, one of our biggest export markets, have banned the import of all American poultry from anywhere in the nation. Ensuring that future outbreaks can't have similar impacts on our economy should be an important priority for the federal government.”