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Hardy, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trained detector dog, sniffed out a roasted pig head in traveler baggage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport in 2018.

Trump signs ag inspectors bill

President Trump legislation (S. 2107) that authorizing funding for 720 new agricultural inspectors at land, air and sea ports to prevent African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases (FAD) from entering the United States. Providing additional agricultural inspectors represents a top priority for NPPC.

“Ensuring we have enough agricultural inspectors at our borders is critical to maintaining a healthy U.S. swine herd,” said David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). “The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have done much to mitigate the risk to animal disease. Bolstered by this legislation, even more resources will be available to strengthen biosecurity at our borders. This is a victory for farmers, consumers and the American economy.”

“NPPC thanks Congressional leadership, led by Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) and Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), for their strong leadership on this issue, and President Trump for signing this essential bill into law. We look forward to working with Congress on appropriations to make sure CBP is fully funded to ensure the benefits of S. 2107 are fully realized.”

S. 2107 also authorizes 600 new agricultural technicians and 60 new agricultural canine teams. The most likely path for a FAD to enter the country would be through the illegal transport of contaminated products. An outbreak of certain FADs would immediately close U.S. pork export markets, causing significant damage to farmers and consumers. NPPC continues to advocate for other FAD preparedness measures, including quickly establishing a U.S. Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank as provided for in the 2018 Farm Bill. The United States does not currently have access to enough vaccine to quickly contain and eradicate an FMD outbreak.

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