The Senate may put the fiscal 2008 agriculture spending bill on its agenda during the next week or two, according to the National Pork Producers Council. The ag spending buill funds USDA and Food and Drug Administration programs. NPPC officials say there is some concern that the spending bill could be a target for provisions that would be damaging to the U.S. pork industry.

NPPC officials point out that some of the amendments that may be offered that would:

  • Ban the use in livestock of certain antibiotics.
  • Prohibit fatigued hogs from entering the food supply.
  • Preclude the federal government from purchasing meat from farms that use sow stalls.

NPPC is working to keep those provisions out of the Senate agriculture appropriations bill. The House did not include such provisions and anything that the Senate passes would have to be reconciled with the House versions. The House bill includes:

  • $117.9 million for animal health monitoring and surveillance.
  • $2.5 million for pseudorabies in pest and disease management.
  • $807,000 for livestock genome sequencing.
  • $263,000 for livestock waste issues.
  • $484,000 for swine and other animal waste management.

There is a possibility that the Senate agriculture appropriations bill will be rolled into an omnibus spending measure, say NPPC officials. Agriculture spending for fiscal 2007, ended Sept. 30 but was extended through a continuing resolution that is set to expire Nov. 16.

Source: National Pork Producers Council