WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved a $400-million transfer from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in response to the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak. By May 27, the virus had been confirmed in 35 states, affecting over 37.9 million domestic birds.
“Continuing our nationwide response to highly pathogenic avian influenza is critical to minimizing the impact on our nation’s poultry industry,” said Lester Moffitt, USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. “Safeguarding US poultry and egg producers from the effects avian influenza could have on agriculture and trade is a critical aspect of this response, and this funding will allow APHIS personnel to continue to deploy and support the emergency wherever they are needed.”
In mid-March, Vilsack approved the use of approximately $130 million in emergency funding, and, in late-April, he approved an additional $263-million transfer.
Since the last CCC funding transfer in April, there have been detections in 151 new flocks, including flocks in 9 new states, and affecting more than 10.8 million commercial and backyard birds.
APHIS is working closely with animal health officials in the affected states to identify and address new cases of HPAI. Funding has been used to address indemnity, diagnostics, field activities and other emergency response costs. APHIS has mobilized 1,125 employees physically and virtually to respond to the outbreak.
APHIS and officials from affected states are responding in accordance with federal and state HPAI response plans, which include implementing quarantine restrictions, depopulating affected flocks, disposing of depopulated birds, cleaning and eliminating the virus from affected premises and conducting surveillance in surrounding areas.