Producer groups, consumer interests and other groups today called for increased vigilance in the prevention of foreign animal diseases during a public hearing held to solicit information in response to the Animal Disease Risk Assessment, Prevention and Control Act of 2001, passed by Congress earlier this year.
The comments were heard to
satisfy the legislation’s request for a
report discussing the economic impacts of,
potential risks posed by and recommendations to
protect the U.S. from foreign animal diseases
such as foot and mouth disease (FMD) and bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Foundation President James Hodges testified at
the hearing, complimenting the various agencies
for doing an "admirable job in preventing the
introduction of foreign animal diseases" into
“Our desire is to take all
reasonable precautions to prevent FMD and BSE
in this country. These diseases could have a
devastating effect on our domestic economy and
export markets,” Hodges said.
Hodges stressed a need for increased
cooperation between APHIS and FSIS in disease
surveillance and sample collection. FSIS
officials are a continuous presence in the meat
packing and slaughter facilities and can offer
a crucial first line of detection for these
animal diseases, Hodges said.
The meat and
poultry industry must be highly involved in
decisions regarding prevention of and
contingency plans for foreign animal diseases,
Agencies Doing "Admirable Job" of Keeping Animal Diseases at Bay, AMIF President SaysFriday, September 28, 2001