On July 28, 2015, at a two day conference called, “Avian Influenza Outbreak…Lessons Learned,” in Des Moines, Iowa, Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture and Iowa Governor, Terry Branstad, gave speeches concerning the avian influenza outbreak. The conference is closed to the media and public, other than the speeches, in order to ensure open discussion on how responses to the last outbreak went wrong and how future responses can be improved.
According to the Associated Press, Vilsack in his speech commented it would be beneficial to implement a disaster program for poultry producers that would be similar to what is already in place for livestock producers. The government expects to spend 191 million through its indemnification program and between 350-400 million on the cleanup and depopulation of infected birds. Vilsack stated there was a proposed insurance program within the 2014 farm bill but was cut due to budgetary considerations.
Vilsack commented during questioning for reporters that if this moves to the East Coast the impact could be quickly outpace the impact of the last outbreak. Vilsack remarked the process of handling future outbreaks needs to be updated in multiple areas including the indemnification process, how to dispose of the birds and the depopulation of the birds.
To hear a recording of the question session with reporters,click here.
Written by Katharine Richter - Research Assistant
July 29, 2015