The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to protect animal health through a series of grants. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has awarded $14.4 million in grant funding as part of the effort. The funding support will go towards 76 projects to be conducted by states, universities, and other partners.
“We continue to use our Farm Bill funds to increase our capabilities and prepare for potential foreign animal disease incursions,” USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach said in a news release. “Our consultation board and leaders in animal health and laboratory diagnostics provided recommendations for the type of projects we would fund, to make sure we were targeting these funds where they can make the most impact. Our partners across States, laboratories and industry alike will benefit from the projects we are funding today.”
A total of $9.3 million is being made available through the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program. Project partners include 16 state animal health authorities, 14 land-grant universities, and two industry and veterinary organizations. A total of 24 projects are focused on livestock biosecurity measures. Seven of the projects have a regional scope while 27 projects address state-specific concerns. A total of 12 projects focus on nationwide issues. Another 22 projects deal with large-scale animal depopulation and carcass disposal in animal disease outbreak response events.
An award of $5.1 million is being made through the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). The main focus of the NAHLN projects is improving early detection and diagnostic testing protocols for significant animal diseases. Funding for the projects to protect animal health is being made possible by the 2018 Farm Bill. Ten states are receiving farm bill funding for the first time this year and 11 states are receiving their second year of funding. APHIS provided $10.2 million in funding last year for 44 projects.