State ag leaders are enhancing HPAI preparedness efforts


State ag leaders are enhancing HPAI preparedness efforts

State ag directors are on high alert as Highly Pathogen Avian Influenza becomes more of a threat during the migration season.

Michigan ag director Gary McDowell tells Brownfield increased disease threats require ag departments to work across borders and in partnership with industry.

“Sometimes it takes severe actions, but we have to do it because if we don’t the long-term effects are just devastating,” he says.

He says regular preparedness exercises allow for agencies to know the process if an outbreak was to occur and how decisions must be made.

“If it breaks out here, how will we contain it, what will be the process for doing that, and how do we immediately contact everybody involved—the producers, government agencies, our neighboring states, and USDA,” he shares.

McDowell expects his amendment to fully fund the National Animal Health Laboratory Network to pass later today at the National Association of State Department of Agriculture’s Winter Policy Meeting to allow for more disease testing and faster reaction to outbreaks.