The House on Thursday passed a sweeping $1.3 trillion spending bill that makes good on President Trump’s promises to increase military funding while blocking most of his proposed cuts to domestic programs and placing obstacles to his immigration agenda. The 2,232-page bill, which was released just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, would keep government agencies operating through September. Congressional leaders muscled the bill through the chamber, tossing aside rules to ensure careful deliberation of legislation to meet a Friday night government shutdown deadline. Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has rejected a petition from an animal rights group that sought more humane treatment for turkeys and chickens sent to slaughter. California-based Mercy For Animals filed a petition in November asking the USDA to include poultry in the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, a 1958 law that makes it a crime to abuse or neglect pigs and cows during slaughter. Read more
A few months before the state Senate confirmed Lucy Dunn’s reappointment to the California Transportation Commission in 2013, she made a political contribution to the president pro tem of the state Senate, whose support was crucial to her staying on the panel. Last year, Dunn, the president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, was confirmed for a third term on the influential transportation panel. Three months later she contributed to a political campaign for the current Senate leader, Kevin De León. Read more
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced an agreement with the government of South Korea that significantly reduces negative impacts on trade should another detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) occur in the United States. The agreement will allow for trade restrictions at the state level instead of the country level during any future HPAI detections.
In a town where deregulation is king, Sonny Perdue rules. Rather quietly.
Perdue is the U.S. secretary of agriculture, running an agency with a $140 billion budget and a low profile. His traveling press corps, when there is one, can squeeze into the back of a van. He may be the most aggressive enforcer of President Donald Trump’s pro-business and deregulatory agenda that the fewest Americans have ever heard of. “The USDA generally slides under the radar,” said Juliette Majot, executive director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis, which advocates for small farmers. But change at the department under Purdue is “profound,” she said. “At USDA, you actually see the Trump administration at work.”
Asian Agribiz reports that China has halted poultry imports over avian influenza outbreaks in Texas, France and Mexico, with findings of the H7N1 strain in a poultry farm in Hopkins Country, Texas; the H5N3 strain in Finestere Department, France; and the H7N3 strain in Mexico. According to Asian Agribiz, China imported 290,000 tonnes of chilled and frozen poultry meat and 580 million eggs from the US in 2017.
Commercial trucking will change significantly on April 1, when federally mandated electronic tracking of trucks becomes mandatory. Congressional action created the electronic log rule for semitrailers in mid-December of 2017, but a grace period allowing the industry to adapt extended the deadline to April, according the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency charged with enforcing the regulations. The rule was included in a transportation bill signed into law in 2012 by former President Barack Obama. Read more
Today, Congressmen Billy Long (R-MO-7) and Jim Costa (D-CA-16) introduced H.R. 5275, the Agricultural Certainty for Reporting Emissions Act, or ACRE Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support. The legislation aims to rectify a widely-understood shortcoming with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a law which has provided for the clean-up of severe industrial chemical toxic waste for over 30 years. If CERCLA were to be applied to agriculture operations, 200,000 ranchers, livestock farmers, and dairy producers in the United States would be subject to regulation created to address toxic waste dumps and spills, such as chemical tank explosions. Read more
With a federal court order set to impose a massive reporting deadline on farmers in six weeks, the National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and United Egg Producers applauded Wednesday’s bi-partisan House legislation, which makes law a policy that had the full support of the Bush and Obama Administrations, with its commonsense clarity for reporting farm air emissions from animal manure. Read more
Growers shouldn’t assume the disinfectants they use in footbaths are effective against avian influenza (AI), indicates a study from the University of California-Davis.
Researchers conducted a survey about biosecurity practices in California and then used the information to design experiments to test the effectiveness of footbath disinfectants against AI. They also evaluated the longevity of AI viruses under different conditions. Read more