USDA Secretary told attendees at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s annual convention yesterday, that President Bush has earmarked $60 million in the Fiscal Year 2005 budget for multi-agency efforts to boost the nation’s bovine spongiform encephalopathy prevention program. That marks a $47-million increase from the 2004 budget.
“These additional resources will fund prevention activities including increased testing, monitoring and surveillance for BSE,” said Venneman. “This is in addition to the $178 million already announced to complete the National Centers for Animal Health renovation.”
The budget, a 377 percent increase over 2004, will go to Congress for approval. Of interest to the food-animal production sector is $33 million to accelerate a national animal-identification system, $17 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to test for BSE at rendering plants and farms, and $5 million for the Agricultural Research Service to research and develop advanced BSE testing technologies.
The White House plan calls for $4 million for the Food Safety and Inspection Service to conduct monitoring and surveillance of regulation compliance for risk materials and advance meat recovery. There’s also $1 million identified for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to dispatch rapid-response teams to markets experiencing BSE- related complaints.