The U.S. pork industry’s top priority for the next Farm Bill aligns with testimony from other animal ag groups – establishing a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank. The National Pork Producers Council’s (NPPC) Vice President David Herring, a pork producer from Newtown Grove, N.C. also testified before the House Agriculture subcommittee this week.
“If this country ever had an FMD outbreak, it not only would devastate my farm and the whole livestock industry but the entire U.S. economy,” said Herring.
To address a potential FMD outbreak, which would cost the beef, corn, pork and soy bean industries alone an estimated $200 billion over 10 years, NPPC wants the 2018 Farm Bill to direct the USDA to:
– Contract with an offshore, vendor-maintained vaccine bank that would have available FMD antigen concentrate to protect against all 23 of the most common FMD types currently circulating in the world.
– Maintain a vendor-managed inventory of 10 million doses of vaccine, which is the estimated need for the first two weeks of an outbreak.
– Contract with an international manufacturer or manufacturers for the surge capacity to produce at least 40 million doses.