The National Chicken Council (NCC) hailed the news that the United States Department of Agriculture will devote $13.7 million to avian influenza (bird flu) eradication.
“The chicken industry welcomes Secretary Veneman's announcement that $13.7 million will be devoted to avian influenza, including $10.8 million to develop a national program to control and prevent outbreaks of the disease,” said NCC President George Watts.
This program will address the need for biosecurity in the live-bird market system as well as the commercial industry, according to the USDA. Outbreaks of avian influenza in Delaware and Texas earlier in 2004 were linked to live-bird markets in New York NY and Houston TX, respectively.
These outbreaks led more than 50 nations to impose restrictions or bans on poultry imports from the United States.
The NCC represents firms that produce, process, and market chickens. Members account for about 95% of US chicken sales.