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Veterinarians lobby for FMD vaccine bank

Nearly two dozen swine veterinarians from across the U.S. have been in Washington, D.C. this week urging lawmakers to include funding for an offshore Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank in the next farm bill.

Dr. Max Rodibaugh, a swine veterinarian from Frankfort, Indiana, says they’re asking for $150 million dollars annually for five years.

“We’re getting a great reception in terms of knowing the need and that it makes sense,” Rodibaugh says. “The problem is always the funding—trying to find the dollars, especially in today’s environment.”

Rodibaugh says part of their message is that it’s not just an agricultural issue.

“Because it really impacts not only agriculture directly, but the general public in terms of food security long-term and those types of things,” he says. “So that’s why it’s important that we involve the government in helping us out on this program, versus trying to do it just from industry or from the producer standpoint.”

Iowa State University economists have estimated that an FMD outbreak in the U.S., which would prompt other countries to close their markets to U.S meat exports, would cost the pork, beef, corn and soybean industries a combined 200 billion dollars over ten years.

AUDIO: Dr. Max Rodibaugh

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