SD Senators ask Biden administration to overcome trade barrier for HPAI vaccines

A U.S. Senator from South Dakota says he hasn’t heard back from the Biden administration on a request to update trade agreements so U.S. poultry growers can treat birds for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.

John Thune tells Brownfield HPAI has caused about $1 billion worth of indemnities nationwide, including South Dakota, but new vaccines being tested could help address the issue.

“There’s clearly support for research and surveillance issues,” he says. “South Dakota has significant poultry production and there’s been huge economic impacts from the losses of birds in our state.”

Thune and another U.S. Senator from South Dakota Mike Rounds sent a letter to USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in mid-January asking them to be proactive in working on the issue.

There are concerns about possible trade bans if there’s widespread poultry vaccinations in the United States and trading partners want to ensure they aren’t importing meat from infected birds.

The letter says while trade considerations will impact any potential vaccine roll out, it’s important USDA consider the needs of all producers to prioritize animal health.

  • Vaccines for HPAI will NOT insure that the pathogenic avian virus is not in the exported birds. In fact, vaccinated birds will increase the presence of the pathogenvin thevl surviving flocks. Too bad Thune and Rounds are ignotant about vaccines. Let’s hope that the USDA is not also vaccine ignorant. In fact, implementing an HPAI vaccine under high disease pressure would only produce strains which are even more virulent. In fact, implementing a vaccine during high disease pressure will produce mutated strains which are even more virulent. This is a known fact of basic virology. This is of course all speculation that a safe and effective HPAI vaccine can actually be developed. So far, no such HPAI vaccine has been developed.

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