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Protecting Trade from a Foreign Animal Disease Focus of USDA Meeting

January 5, 2023

Karen Jordan, DVM and chair of NMPF’s Animal Health and Wellbeing Committee, and Dr. Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s chief science officer, met with USDA APHIS Administrator Kevin Shae and other USDA animal health leadership Dec. 6 to discuss animal-health issues for U.S. dairy farmers, focusing on trade and biosecurity.

Jonker spoke about the importance of USDA advocacy for science-based World Organization for Animal Health and Codex Alimentarius standards allowing the safe trade of dairy products, noting that U.S. dairy exports will be nearly 20% of domestic production and $10 billion in 2022. He thanked USDA for the initial funding for the federal-state-industry partnership that developed the Secure Milk Supply Plan. He also reported on the progress being made to advance and integrate Everyday and Enhanced/Secure Milk Supply biosecurity into the National Dairy FARM Program due to the NADPRP cooperative agreement.

Jordan requested acceleration of development of a milk bulk tank Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) test which could be used to augment the Secure Milk Supply Plan to assist in maintaining continuity of business for dairy farmers should an FMD outbreak occur in the United States. USDA also handles health certification for dairy export certificates, which are vital to maintain and expand trade.

Jordan also reported on the progress of the NMPF-led multi-stakeholder task force with dairy farmers, veterinarians, and state and federal animal and public health officials to address the transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis from cattle to humans and humans to cattle. She also stressed the overall importance of USDA cattle health programs for dairy farmers, including revising and updating the National Tuberculosis Eradication Program standards to meet contemporary challenges of disease eradication, including disease transmission, lower disease incidence, and changing production systems.

Jonker expressed hope that USDA would publish the long-delayed update to the National Tuberculosis Eradication Program standards soon. He also discussed the importance emerging animal health and safety issues including the Asian longhorn tick and black vultures, which are a threat to dairy cattle on pasture, and long-term issues like animal identification and disease traceability to dairy farmers.