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NMPF Supports USDA Animal-Disease Efforts, Recommends Improvements

September 2, 2020

NMPF submitted comments to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Aug. 21 supporting enhancements to the National List of Reportable Animal Diseases.  These proposed changes will streamline state and federal cooperative animal disease detection, response, and control efforts.

In addition to supporting the proposed enhancements to the National List of Reportable Animal Diseases, NMPF comments included detailed suggestions to provide additional clarity including:

  • Clarity to ensure protection to individual privacy and confidential business information while collecting and reporting critical epidemiological information;
  • Including the reporting of notifiable diseases in wildlife;
  • Clarity on enforcement authority; and
  • Recommendations to improve definitions for reporting requirements including “emergency,” “emerging,” “regulated,” and “immediate reporting.”

NMPF also encouraged USDA-APHIS to rapidly develop a single portal for both federal and state personnel to receive notifiable disease reports simultaneously, which would minimize paperwork for accredited veterinarians and laboratories. Dual reporting requirements would be made much less burdensome for the states, diagnostic laboratories, and other animal health professionals with such a new information technology system.

Zoonotic and foreign animal diseases remain an ever-present risk to U.S. dairy farmers and their animals, and domestic and international confidence in purchasing U.S. dairy products is intimately tied to the health of the U.S. dairy herd. A foreign animal disease incursion would disrupt the nation’s ability to maintain or expand exports of US dairy products valued at $6.02 billion, or 14.5 percent of production, in 2019.