Government should plan to pay producers for culls, lawmaker says

A U.S. lawmaker said the federal government should implement a plan to pay farmers if they need to depopulate their herds in the event of disease outbreaks like African swine fever or foot-and-mouth disease.

Feed Strategy reports that House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson made the comment during a campaign event for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Peterson said the coronavirus pandemic demonstrates the need for an effective payment plan: When some meat and poultry processing plants had to stop operations due to COVID-19 outbreaks, many producers had to cull their flocks and herds. Similar situations could occur if there were an outbreak of ASF or FMD.

“What I’m trying to do is get things in place so we have not only a [USDA] study, but we actually have rules and we give the authority to the [Commodity Credit Corporation] to deal with African swine fever, to deal with foot-and-mouth disease, to deal with these things that we know are going to come,” Peterson said.

In Europe, the Food Safety Authority launched a campaign to reach stakeholders in areas deemed high-risk for ASF to raise awareness. It’s aimed at people in nine countries who come into contact with domestic pigs and wild boar, such as pig farmers and hunters. EFSA also plans to reach veterinary organizations, hunting associations, farmers’ groups and others, Feedstuffs reports.