Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar led an effort this week for more funding to help address the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak. The Senators told the Senate Appropriations Committee leaders, “Although the virus poses minimal risk to human health, it has serious implications for U.S. poultry producers, rural communities, and our agricultural economy.”
HPAI has been detected in 32 states across the country and has killed over 36 million birds, to date. The lawmakers say, “Given the recent outbreak, the ongoing increase in confirmed HPAI cases, and the likelihood of further spread, we urge the Subcommittee to make funding for the APHIS avian health program a high priority.”
The funds, they say, are critical to continue HPAI response measures by USDA. As of Friday, the HPAI outbreak has impacted around 19 sites across Iowa alone, affecting 13 million birds – more than any other state.