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Chick-News.com Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Urgent Need for Agricultural Inspectors and Veterinarians for CBP

09/12/2019

Senator Gary C. Peters (D-MI) co-sponsored the Protecting Americas’ Food and Agricultural Act of 2019 (S 2107) together with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).  The Bill is intended to address the shortage of agricultural technicians, specialist and veterinarians at U.S. ports of entry.  An allocation would fund the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency with an additional $107 million to hire agricultural specialists, $74 million to hire technicians and $23 million for K-9 teams.

 

If the U.S. is to effectively prevent introduction of African swine fever, pork introduced into the U.S. clandestinely in containers or by travelers must be interdicted.  In March, USDA beagles identified pork smuggled from China and the one-million pound shipment was disposed of.  Japan has identified African swine fever virus in meat samples in the luggage of tourists from China as previously reported in postings on CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS. 

 

During 2018 CBP officials seized 1.7 million prohibited items at points of entry and found 17,000 consequential pests.  Currently veterinarians average 15 to 25 hours of overtime per week due to the vacancies that exist.  Spending on interdiction is far more beneficial than enduring the cost and disruption from an exotic disease.


 
Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane