Hoeven, Bipartisan Group of Senators Call for Increased Action to Address Avian Influenza Outbreak

WASHINGTON – In a letter sent today to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator John Hoeven joined a bipartisan group of 14 other senators in requesting additional support for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to proactively address the ongoing highly virulent avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak.

As of now, HPAI has been detected in nearly 20 states across the country. Although the virus poses minimal risk to humans, it has serious implications for U.S. poultry producers. To control the virus, many poultry farmers have been forced to eradicate their flocks, resulting in the loss of millions of birds to date. The letter was led by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

“The HPAI outbreak has already forced American poultry producers to eliminate millions of birds,” Hoeven said. “This is a real challenge to the farmers who have been affected. It’s also creating uncertainty throughout the industry, and the prospect of higher prices at the market for consumers. Given that this outbreak is projected to continue into the fall, it is important that we are proactive in addressing it. We must ensure that APHIS receives the support it needs to continue its critical avian influenza response measures in the next fiscal year.”

APHIS has partnered with the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and state and local agencies to combat the avian influenza outbreak. The APHIS program conducts avian influenza surveillance, reporting and control efforts, and also distributes indemnity payments to poultry producers who have been affected by the outbreak.

Hoeven is a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and serves on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Agriculture. He is also a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.