Led by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a bipartisan group of senators is pushing for additional funding to help battle an outbreak of avian flu.
They made their request in a letter to Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and to the subcommittee's ranking member Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
They were joined by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Tom Carper, D-Del., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Mark Warner D-Va., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Chris Coons, D-Del., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
They wrote that the highly pathogenic avian influenza "has been detected in 32 states across the country and has killed over 36 million birds. Although the virus poses minimal risk to human health, it has serious implications for U.S. poultry producers, rural communities, and our agricultural economy.
"Given the recent outbreak, the ongoing increase in confirmed HPAI [Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza] cases, and the likelihood of further spread, we urge the subcommittee to make funding for the APHIS [Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] avian health program a high priority. These funds are critical to continue HPAI response measures."
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