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Funding for FMD bank is a priority for livestock producers

One of the major priorities for the nation’s livestock groups in the 2018 Farm Bill is to secure funding for a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank.

Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council says a FMD bank would help prevent devastation should an outbreak occur.  “We need to consider the economic impact of Foot-and-Mouth Disease,” she says.  “Iowa State researches have estimated about $200-billion over 10 years of lost income to pork, beef, corn, soybeans, and poultry.”

She tells Brownfield the US would also lose all access to trade until it was declared FMD free.

AUDIO: Liz Wagstrom, National Pork Producers Council

During a hearing with the House Ag Committee this week, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says it’s a strong move to consider including funding for the vaccine bank in the next farm bill.  “Because of the damage to the market psychologically,” he says. “It damages the market not for just that period of time but it gives people a loss of confidence in our reputation of safety in the US.  We know that vaccination is effective.”

Wagstrom says current funding only provides $1.9 million dollars per year and it isn’t enough.

She says organizations need funding to maintain inventory of at least 10 million doses of the FMD vaccine for each of the 23 most common strains of the disease.

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