Iowa legislators join push for federal disaster declaration

ChickenBy The Iowa Statesman


Members of the Iowa congressional delegation have added their support for Gov. Terry Branstad’s request for a federal declaration of a major disaster for the state due to catastrophic losses because of the avian flu outbreak.

“The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed,” the members wrote.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst signed the letter, as well as U.S. Reps. Rod Blum, Dave Loebsack, and David Young. It was not immediately clear why U.S. Rep. Steve King did not sign the letter.

The disease has wiped out tens of millions of birds and cost producers hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.  Dozens of poultry farms in the state have been hit by the disease.

A signed copy of the letter can be found here.