Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Ranking Member David Rouzer Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Public Hearing: “To review animal pest and disease prevention and response capabilities”

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Washington, May 21, 2019 | comments

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good morning. Thank you, Chairman Costa, for holding today’s hearing to discuss the latest animal health issues affecting our nation’s livestock industry and to review the U.S. Department Agriculture’s (USDA) animal pest and disease programs.

Food security is national security, and there is no question that the animal agriculture sector faces pest and disease threats capable of devastating the rural economy and our nation’s food supply. 

In the lead up to the 2018 Farm Bill, this subcommittee held several hearings to discuss the known and unknown threats against the animal agriculture sector. Largely as a result of the effort of the House of Representatives, along with the hard work by USDA and the livestock industry, I am pleased that the 2018 Farm Bill was able to make an historic investment in the tools necessary for USDA and its state government and industry partners to identify, diagnose and respond to a potential outbreak.

In addition to the new authorities provided in the farm bill, other provisions within the Animal Health Protection Act affords USDA broad authority to detect, control, and eradicate pests and diseases affecting the livestock industry. This robust animal health protection system will continue to be tested, and we must continue to work to ensure that we rise to the challenge of combatting threats like foot and mouth disease (FMD), African Swine Fever, avian influenza, PEDv and many others.

I would like to thank Undersecretary Greg Ibach and Associate Deputy Administrator Burke Healey for taking the time to join us today. I look forward to hearing an update on USDA’s progress on farm bill implementation and your continued efforts to protect America’s livestock industry.

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