Senate Agriculture Committee ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is asking the Agriculture Department to outline its avian influenza response. Stabenow specifically is asking Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young to explain how the Trump Administration is responding to bird flu outbreaks around the country, according to the Hagstrom Report. Young is the highest ranking official at USDA right now. As Stabenow noted, USDA has found highly pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial flock of 73,000 chickens in Tennessee, and last week detected the same HPAI strain in a nearby flock. Two cases of low-pathogenic avian influenza were also discovered in Wisconsin and Tennessee, followed by three additional suspected cases in Alabama this month. In a letter to Young, Stabenow asked who is in charge of the effort to fight avian influenza, whether the Trump administration’s hiring freeze will affect the effort to fight the disease, and who will handle international trade questions about the presence of HPAI in U.S. commercial flocks, including restrictions that other countries place on imports of U.S. poultry.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.