Farmscape for October 8, 2019
The U.S. Department of Agriculture to is being urged to move as quickly as possible to establish a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank.
The National Pork Producers Council, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Corn Growers Association and Iowa State University are applauding steps taken by USDA to establish an FMD vaccine bank but are calling for the expedient purchase of the volumes of vaccine required to effectively contain and eradicate an outbreak should one occur.
Dr. Liz Wagstrom, the Chief Veterinarian with the National Pork Producers Council, told reporters participating in a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank teleconference last week, the U.S. pork industry exports over 25 percent of its production so a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank was the organization's number one priority during last year's farm bill discussions.
Clip-Dr. Liz Wagstrom-National Pork Producers Council:
We spent a lot of time and effort talking to legislators about the importance, about the need, about the inadequate supply we currently have within the North American vaccine bank.
We're very encouraged that USDA has now started the process of publishing a sources sought notice.
That sources sough notice identifies potential vendors for the vaccine bank.
The reason for this call today is to encourage them, after that notice closes which is in the next couple of weeks, to continue moving the process forward as quickly as possible.
The vaccine bank is an urgent issue.
It needs to be populated as quickly as possible with the appropriate strains of FMD vaccine.
We are extremely grateful for the funding we got in the Farm Bill and we are extremely anxious to start building that robust vaccine bank that will help protect animal agriculture throughout the United States.
Dr. Wagstrom says, unlike challenges beyond the control of producers, a solution for FMD preparedness is in our grasp and she urges USDA to move as quickly as possible to establish the bank.
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