Coalition Letter Calling on Congress to Establish an Animal Pest and Disease Disaster Prevention and Response Program in the Next Farm Bill


Date Sent
May 4, 2017
Animal Agriculture Coalition
Chairman Roberts, Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Stabenow, and Ranking Member Peterson
Animal Pest and Disease Disaster Prevention and Response Program in the Next Farm Bill
28.26 KB, PDF

Dear Chairman Roberts, Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Stabenow, and Ranking Member Peterson:

As you begin your work to pass a new bipartisan five-year Farm Bill, members of the Animal Agriculture Coalition (AAC), which is comprised of most major animal and animal related commodity organizations as well as allied organizations representing veterinary medicine, animal science, state regulatory agencies and various livestock species sectors or animal agriculture interests in the United States look forward to working with you to ensure that farm policy benefits all agriculture interests. An outbreak of a foreign animal disease has the ability to cripple the entire agricultural sector and have long-lasting ramifications for the economic viability of U.S. livestock production. It is critical that the new Farm Bill address these risks to animal health while likewise bolstering the long-term ability of U.S. animal agriculture to be competitive in the global marketplace and provide consumers around the world safe, wholesome, affordable food produced in a sustainable manner.

We call on Congress, in the 2018 Farm Bill, to establish a two-tiered program to deliver the sufficient development and timely deployment of all measures necessary to prevent, identify and mitigate the potential catastrophic impacts that an animal disease outbreak would have on our country’s food security, export markets, and overall economic stability.

It is essential that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and state animal health officials have: (1) forward looking disease prevention and rapid response activities; and (2) robust laboratory capacity for surveillance. We cannot wait, we have seen the implications of these diseases, both financially and from an animal welfare standpoint and it is devastating. The two-tiered program is outlined in greater detail below.\

(Requests CCC funding of $70M per year)
Modelled after the highly successful plant pest and disease management and disaster prevention programs, a new Animal Pest and Disease Disaster Prevention and Response Program, administered by APHIS, would be established to provide a proactive and concerted preventative “boots on the ground” effort focusing on early detection and rapid response to protect the nation’s animal agriculture industry. It is envisioned that this program would be structured to take full advantage, through support and collaboration, of the science generated by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) program established under section 1433 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, the Continuing Animal Health and Disease Research Program.

(Requests CCC funding of ($30M per year)
Building upon the 2014 Farm Bill’s authorization of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), the Animal Disease and Disaster Prevention Program will help support NAHLN and bring together the federal government with states, industry, universities, and other interested groups to reduce the impact of high-consequence animal diseases, provide rapid detection and response capabilities to respond to animal diseases, develop disease prevention and mitigation technologies including vaccines, prevent the entrance and spread of foreign animal diseases into the United States, and identify and support critical research needs.

The coalition is eager to work with you to pass a 2018 Farm Bill as expeditiously as possible. Thank you for your consideration of our priorities. If you would like to discuss the this proposal further please contact Damon Wells, AAC Vice Chairman, ( and 202-730-9636) or Ashley Morgan, AAC Vice Chairman ( and (202) 289-3210).

American Association of Avian Pathologists
American Association of Bovine Practitioners
American Association of Mycobacterial Diseases
American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners
American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
American Dairy Goat Association
American Dairy Science Association
American Feed Industry Association
American Goat Federation
American Horse Council
American Sheep Industry
American Society of Animal Science
American Veterinary Medical Association
Animal Ag Alliance
Animal Health Institute
Arizona Cattlemen's Association
Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Association of Veterinary Biologics Companies
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
California Pork Producers Association
California Poultry Federation
California Wool Growers Association
Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota
Colorado Cattlemen's Association
Colorado Livestock Association
Fats and Proteins Research Foundation
Florida Cattlemen's Association
Georgia Cattlemen's Association
Georgia Poultry Federation
Indiana State Poultry Association
Iowa Turkey Federation
Kentucky Poultry Federation
Michigan Agri-Business Association
Michigan Cattlemen’s Association
Michigan Pork Producers Association
Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals Multistate Initiative
National Grain and Feed Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Turkey Federation
National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials
National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science
National Association of Federal Veterinarians
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Aquaculture Association
National Renderers Association
North Carolina Poultry Federation
North Dakota Turkey Federation
Ohio Poultry Association
Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science
Poultry Science Association
South Carolina Poultry Federation
South Dakota Pork Producers Council
South Dakota Poultry Industry Association
Texas Poultry Federation
Texas Turkey Federation
The Poultry Federation – Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma
United Egg Producers
University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine
U.S. Animal Health Association
U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center Research and Industry Committee
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
Virginia Poultry Federation
Wisconsin Poultry and Egg Industry Association