Grassley, Ernst urge hearing on federal response to HPAI H5N2

ChickenFrom Press Release


In a letter sent Thursday, U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst urged Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) to hold a hearing on the federal government’s response to the ongoing outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza. Senators Grassley and Ernst stressed the critical, timely nature of this issue, citing the devastating impact of the disease on Iowa poultry farmers and producers, and the need to address federal actions taken once the outbreak has been contained.

“Due to the sheer size and scope of this outbreak, we have heard from countless folks in Iowa who are concerned about the lack of certainty caused by this situation – many of whom just want to find resolution to this tragedy and get back to work,” the Iowa Senators wrote.

“As you know, it is critical for the vitality of our agricultural economy that key stakeholders – producers, ancillary industries, community leaders, and government officials – have the tools and lines of communication available to work with one another to overcome challenges such as HPAI,” the Iowa Senators added. “A hearing would provide an opportunity to bring these leaders and stakeholders together to review what has happened, identify what response procedures have worked, what has not worked, and set the stage to ensure we are better prepared in the future.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Grassley and Ernst urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to properly deploy resources to address the avian flu situation in a letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack last month, following a letter to the USDA sent by the entire Iowa Congressional delegation in April.