The new farm bill includes funding for an updated Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank. North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Executive Director Julie Ellingson says the funding is a positive first step. “It’s one of the most contagious diseases that not only has animal welfare implications, but also economic ramifications due to it’s nature,” says Ellingson. “For years, experts have said the United States is not well prepared to address a major disease outbreak. This will help create an insurance policy for the livestock industry.” Over the next five years, USDA will have access to $150 million for the vaccine bank. The dollars will also support the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and state efforts to prepare for a foreign animal disease outbreak.
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