Department of Agriculture to invest $27.1 million to purchase vaccine for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank
Klobuchar’s 2018 legislation — Animal Disease and Disaster Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act — was included in the 2018 Farm Bill and established the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making an initial investment of $27.1 million to purchase a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine, which would be used in the event of an outbreak to protect animals and help stop the spread of the disease.
“As we have seen with the current pandemic, outbreaks can have devastating effects. When animal disease outbreaks hit, as they have in Minnesota with avian influenza, the impact is felt by farmers, rural communities, and our entire food supply chain. That’s why I worked to ensure that animal disease preparedness would be an important part of the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Klobuchar, a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This critical investment will ensure our farmers and livestock producers are better able to respond to a potential outbreak.”
“When our state was hit by the 2015 avian flu outbreak, the effects were felt deepest in our agriculture community,” said Smith, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Since then, I’ve listened to Minnesota’s livestock producers and veterinarians. They've made it abundantly clear that it’s important to prepare for and prevent future animal disease outbreaks. This funding to purchase disease vaccines will help us reach that goal. But our work shouldn’t stop there. We need to adopt a ‘One Health’ approach—the idea that human and animal health are linked, and that they should be studied together to prevent and respond to disease outbreaks. I’m making a bipartisan push to advance this idea in the Senate so preparedness efforts meet the needs of all people, all ages, and all communities.”
As a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Klobuchar successfully pushed for key provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill – including provisions to create an animal disease vaccine bank and disaster response program, provide more coverage and more flexible tools for dairy producers, and protect funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
In March 2019 at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing entitled “Implementing the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” Klobuchar received commitments from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to prioritize the implementation of the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank and the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP).
Klobuchar’s bipartisan legislation with Senator John Cornyn of Texas – the Animal Disease and Disaster Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act of 2018 - was included in the 2018 Farm Bill and focused on three practices (disease prevention, early detection, and rapid response) to address risks to animal health, livestock export markets, and the economic stability of the livestock industry. The final law established the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) and the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank, and expanded the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).
Smith’s bipartisan legislation—The Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act—would improve coordination among those studying animal and human health by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services and the Agriculture Department to adopt a “One Health” framework with other agencies. And in December 2019, Smith’s bipartisan legislation—the Kay Hagan Tick Act—was signed into law. This law fosters interagency collaboration to improve research, prevention, diagnostics, and treatment for tick-borne diseases.
Smith took a leading role to make sure Minnesota priorities were included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes many of her measures. It includes her legislative roadmap for the energy title of the Farm Bill, her provision to expand access to broadband in rural communities and tribal areas across the country, and a provision to create a U.S. Department of Agriculture “Rural Health Liaison” who will work with other federal health officials to address rural America’s unique health care needs. The bill also funds Smith’s efforts to help younger and non-traditional farmers get started in the business, and it responds to her call to preserve the Sugar Program which supports thousands of jobs across the Red River Valley in Northwest Minnesota.