Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talks bird flu in Iowa

Published 07/28 2015 07:57PM

Updated 07/28 2015 07:57PM

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was in Des Moines Tuesday morning to talk about the federal response to avian flu.
 
Iowa has seen more cases of the avian flu than any other state: farmers have lost 31.7 million birds at 75 different farms. Vilsack said he hopes farmers will be back in business by the end of summer, so long as the virus doesn't re-emerge in the fall.
 
The USDA has now made $700 million available to producers, but is still looking for the best way to spend that money.
 
"We are open to suggestions, and we are working with the industry to try to figure out what is indeed the quickest and most efficient and most humane way of dealing with this should it reoccur," Vilsack said.
 
The USDA has also hired 3,000 extra people to help in the flu fight.
 
He recommends that Iowans push Congress to add disaster assistance in the next farm bill, to be better protected from future bio-security disasters.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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