The pork industry is pressing for a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank in the 2018 farm bill. The price tag would be high, but the industry argues the cost of an FMD outbreak would be even higher.
Farm bill writers will already be under huge pressure to keep costs down in the 2018 bill. But the National Pork Producers Council wants to include a $150-million per-year FMD vaccine bank.
The group writes Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue that the next farm bill “offers the only path” to come up with enough money for “an adequate supply of FMD vaccine.”
NPPC Vice-President David Herring told Congress earlier this year
NPPC argues the U.S. does not have enough FMD vaccine to handle more than a small, localized outbreak, and antigen strains at Plum Island, New York, would have to be shipped overseas for mass production into a vaccine, which could take months.
Former Pork Producers’ President John Weber
For now, Pork Producers wants USDA to contract for an offshore vaccine bank that can protect against the most common FMD strains and a vaccine maker that can quickly produce 40 million doses.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association also wants $150 million a year for five years, for a better domestic vaccine bank. And the groups want to protect research dollars for animal diseases, production practices, genetics, and nutrition.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.