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Beef Buzz News


NCBA Asks for Major Funding to Expand Vaccine Bank, Small Price to Pay Given Potential Damage

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:33:12 CDT

NCBA Asks for Major Funding to Expand Vaccine Bank, Small Price to Pay Given Potential Damage The need for a national Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank to have enough serum readily available in the event of an FMD outbreak in the US, has been discussed for a long time now. Major industries in agriculture such as the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council have been leading those discussions, lobbying Congressional members for their support in funding such an undertaking. In a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, NCBA's Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons says it is something the livestock sector desperately needs. Recently, those groups have taken it a step farther, making a formal request for funding in the next Farm Bill.


"We have learned that the global capacity to produce Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine is not to the point where if we would have a Type 3 or larger outbreak in this country - we could readily get enough vaccine for adequate use," Simmons said. "So, we are realizing we are going to have to commit to some level of contracts and we're going to have to expand our current FMD bank so that we can have the needed protection and insurance against a possible outbreak."


Accordingly, Simmons says NCBA and its partners are asking policymakers to include a provision in the next Farm Bill to appropriate $115 million each year for five years to fund an expansion of the current FMD vaccine bank. In comparison, this would be a relatively small price to pay considering a large-scale FMD outbreak could potentially cause a billion dollars or more in economic harm to the agriculture industry. Congressional support in this manner, Simmons says, would go a long way in protecting the nation's food, health and economic security.


"I think it would certainly give us the assurance that we could act more immediately and that we could act over larger volumes of animals," she said. "If this would happen in a very concentrated area of cattle - in some of our high cattle dense states - we would need a large supply of vaccine readily available to really make any kind of impact."


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



   




   

Hear Kathy Simmons and Ron Hays discuss the livestock industry's need for an FMD vaccine bank
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