Farmscape for September 18, 2020
The National Pork Producers Council is calling for increased funding for agriculture inspections at U.S. ports of entry to help guard against the entry of foreign animal disease.
As part of its virtual Fall Legislative Action Conference, the National Pork Producers Council urged lawmakers to backfill funding for agricultural inspections at U.S. ports of entry.
NPPC President A.V. Roth explains agriculture inspections conducted by United States Customs and Border Protection are funded by Agriculture Quarantine Inspection program user fees but, due to the COVID related downturn and significant reductions in travel, those user fees have dropped dramatically.
Clip-A.V. Roth-National Pork Producers Council:
Just last week Germany reported its first case of ASF in a wild boar.
After just one case the repercussions have been swift and significant with German pork exports suspended to a number of its biggest markets.
This swine only disease continues to spread in parts of Europe and Asia and has killed one out of every four pigs in the world.
Last week's news is an ever present reminder that the United States needs to remain vigilant to protect our borders and our ports from ASF and other foreign animal diseases.
Unfortunately a significant lapse in inspection funding is putting our country in a very precarious position that, if left unaddressed, will have serious consequences not just for livestock producers but for all of U.S. agriculture.
Without a prompt resolution, there will be an estimated 630 million dollar shortfall in AQI funding through the end of fiscal year 2021.
Roth says these agriculture inspectors are the first line of defence to ensure the one trillion dollar U.S. agriculture sector is safe.
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