Senate Agriculture Committee to hold avian flu hearing

USDA officials and stakeholders plan to testify on impact of worst domestic avian flu outbreak.

Tuesday afternoon (July 7) the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the avian influenza and the federal government’s response.

The hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST and can be viewed live online by clicking here. An archived Webcast will be available at the same link.

The announcement follows a letter sent by the two Senators from Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) to Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) requesting a hearing on the federal government’s response to the ongoing outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

Roberts released the hearing will feature two panels. The first will feature Dr. John R. Clifford, deputy administrator for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and Dr. David Swayne, laboratory director at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

The second panel features industry stakeholders including James Dean, chairman of the United Egg Producers; Ken Klippen, president of the National Assn. of Egg Farmers; Brad Moline, manager of Moline Farms in Manson, Iowa; Rob Knecht, president and vice president of operations of Michigan Allied Poultry Industries and Konos, Inc; and Tom Elam, president of FarmEcon.

Ernst said the hearing represents an “important opportunity to bring leaders and key stakeholders together to review the pandemic spread of this deadly disease, identify areas for improvement within response procedures, and set the stage to ensure we are better prepared in the future."

Over 30 million birds have been depopulated in the state of Iowa and over 47 million birds nationwide.

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