Senators Want Coordinated Response to Avian Flu

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and John Cornyn (R-TX) are calling for enhanced interagency coordination in the federal response to the avian flu outbreak.

In a letter, the senators urged the USDA to work with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other authorities, as it addresses avian flu cases and disseminates information to states and the public. They say previous outbreaks have benefited from a consortium strategy wherein the USDA brought in the brightest minds in epidemiology and animal health research to lessen the potential economic and societal cost of the spread.

“We ask that the USDA take a similar approach – including additional research on wild bird deterrents, vaccines, and advanced biosecurity practices – when combating the outbreak,” the lawmakers wrote. “A successful response to this outbreak demands a commitment to keeping farmers, ranchers, and veterinarians informed of the latest developments.”