December 22, 2022 USTFA

Omnibus Bill Includes $5M for Aquatic Animal Health

Courtesy of NAA:

An April 2022 letter to Congressional Appropriators signed by 19 aquaculture associations, the National Aquaculture Association walking the halls of Capitol Hill and your calls to your Senators and House member has moved the needle and increased the budget for farmed aquatic animal health!

The additional funds will be immediately implemented to fulfill an ambitious five-year US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Aquatic Animal Health Program business plan. Key components to this effort is the National Aquaculture Health Plan & Standards and the farm-level Comprehensive Aquaculture Health Program Standards. Both the NAHPS and CAHPS incorporate farmer comments and include opportunities for a farmer input to inform program standards implementation.

To protect and support aquaculture’s significant role in the domestic food chain there must be national standards that are transparent and consistent by which farmed aquatic animal health is determined and verified for various end uses. This increased funding for the USDA APHIS Aquatic Animal Health Program will support U.S. aquaculture to expand securely and safely with protections from foreign animal diseases and inequitable trade practices as well as provide increased market access and marketability both domestically and internationally. To be effective, the national plan and farm-level health program standards require an increase in staff and travel support to educate and inform farms so that the farms can develop a farm-level health management, biosecurity, and disease response.