For immediate release: June 21, 2016
Contact: Michael Crusan
State expands emergency response activities and preparedness for Foreign Animal Diseases
Funding previously limited to avian influenza now available for prevention strategies
The Minnesota State Legislature expanded the use of $1.8 million appropriated for avian influenza last session, to ensure the Board of Animal Health can respond to a wider range of Foreign Animal Diseases. Governor Mark Dayton signed the supplemental budget bill (2016 Minnesota Session Laws, Chapter 189) on June 1, 2016, which included this expanded use of funding for the Board. Specifically, it covers emergency planning and response, which includes:
- Identifying risk factors for animal disease transmission.
- Implementing strategies to prevent or reduce disease introduction and transmission.
- Retaining employees trained in disease response.
- Funding a portion of the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory expansion project in Willmar.
“Originally, state efforts and funding centered on prevention and eradication of avian influenza. This expanded funding opens up our capability to address any foreign animal disease in Minnesota. I’m pleased to see this continued and proactive support from lawmakers and Governor Dayton for the Board of Animal Health’s work,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Beth Thompson. “Healthy animals lead to safer farms, food and people.”
The Board’s portion of the funding is available until June 30, 2019. The new law also continues funding avian influenza emergency preparedness for partnering state departments of: Agriculture, Health, Natural Resources, and Public Safety. Their funding is available until June 30, 2017.
Visit the Board of Animal Health website to learn about the agency’s responsibility to protect Minnesota’s domestic animals: www.bah.state.mn.us.
Michael Crusan, Minnesota Board of Animal Health Communications