APHIS Announces Funds for Animal Health
By: Sydney Sheffield
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently announced over $16.3 million to 64 different projects with states, universities, and other partners for animal health protection. This money is part of the 2018 Farm Bill.
“These funding awards will help ensure the ongoing health of our nation’s livestock and poultry,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “Safeguarding U.S. animal health helps us expand export opportunities for rural America to more and better markets while providing consistent access to safe, healthy, and affordable food for U.S. consumers. The preparedness and response activities we are funding today will help us address the animal disease issues of tomorrow and arm us with the best science available to retain international markets and feed our families and the world. I look forward to seeing the progress USDA and its partners make with these funds.”
This is the third year that APHIS will provide this Farm Bill funding. In 2020, more than $14.4 million was funded for 76 projects. The Farm Bill indicates that these programs are part of a strategy to prevent animal pests and diseases from entering the U.S. and reduce the spread and harm of potential disease to ultimately protect and expand market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products.
This funding will support projects dedicated to improving vaccine distribution plans and supporting animal movement decisions in high-consequence animal disease outbreaks, delivering outreach and education on animal disease prevention and preparedness, and developing point-of-care diagnostic tests to rapidly detect foreign animal diseases. The funding will also support projects to enhance early detection of high-impact animal diseases and improve emergency response capabilities at veterinary diagnostic laboratories that are part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).
NAHLN will receive $4.4 million for 21 projects in 14 states. The projects will help NAHLN enhance the early detection of high-consequence animal diseases and improve emergency response capabilities at NAHLN veterinary diagnostic laboratories. This funding is in addition to the $2.5 million provided noncompetitively for NAHLN infrastructure.
The National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP), established by the 2018 Farm Bill, will receive $7.6 million for 36 projects to support vaccine distribution, animal movement, and business continuity during a disease outbreak, and disease prevention and preparedness outreach and education. State animal health authorities in 21 states will lead these projects at land-grant universities and industry or veterinary organizations.
Additionally, $4.3 million is awarded to seven NADPRP and NAHLN joint projects in six states, designed to support the development and evaluation of point-of-care diagnostic tests. This is the first joint competitive funding provided by NAHLN and NADPRP.