House Ag Committee talks animal disease prevention, HPAI mitigation


Jenny Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture

The House Ag Subcommittee on livestock, dairy, and poultry held a hearing Tuesday to review USDA animal disease prevention and response efforts.

While there, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Jennifer Moffitt, highlighted efforts to limit the ongoing impact of highly pathogenic avian flu.

“There are a lot of different things that we’re doing. First off, I want to highlight biosecurity. We’ve worked with producers and the producer industry has also worked with producers on developing more robust biosecurity plans and training for those biosecurity plans so that they’re implemented by producers. We’ve seen a reduction in lateral spread, which is spread between house to house from 70% in the 2015 outbreak to around 15-16% in this current outbreak. So, a big significant reduction there. We have more to do. We know, as you mentioned, the virus is prevalent in the wild bird population. So how do we reduce the attractiveness of the farms from wild bird populations is another avenue that we’re looking at,” Moffitt said before the committee.

Moffit told the dais to date, USDA has tested more than two million wild birds to get a better understanding of how the disease is spreading in the wild.

Right now, nearly 60 million birds have died since the outbreak began over a year ago.

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