Final Agriculture Appropriations Conference Report also includes $28.3 million for prevention, control & eradication of avian influenza

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Working to ensure the viability and security of Delaware’s poultry industry in the wake of avian influenza cases in Asia, Delaware Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper and Representative Mike Castle today announced they have secured nearly $400,000 for avian research at the University of Delaware in the Fiscal Year 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Conference Report. The legislation, which also includes $28.3 million for nationwide activities related to the prevention, control and eradication of avian influenza, passed by the House of Representatives late last week and the U.S. Senate this morning. “Preventing an outbreak of avian influenza and protecting our poultry growers must be one of our highest priorities,” said Senator Biden. “The Delmarva Peninsula has always been ahead of the curve as far as ensuring the health and safety of the industry, and this funding will help us remain that way.” “Given concern among scientists and public health officials over the potential outbreak of avian flu, there’s no question we need to put more money into research and prevention services,” said Carper. “This money will help protect the public and the poultry industry in this state from a potential outbreak.” “There is no question with the increasing public concern regarding avian influenza in Asia and other countries, this funding is needed to protect our poultry industry here at home. The Delmarva Peninsula has always been home to the most exceptional poultry producers, who follow exceptional prevention and surveillance practices and should serve as a model for the rest of the world. This funding will enable our leading research institution in the state help contribute to the prevention of such an outbreak in Delaware,” Castle said. DELAWARE FUNDING SPECIFICS: University of Delaware Center for Avian Biosciences, $100,000 Funding will be used to establish the Avian Biosciences Center to carry out targeted research and development in avian science and technology will contribute enormously to the profitability and sustainability of the poultry industry. Funding will be used to: expand poultry health and diagnostic capability, address related production and environmental issues, and build outreach efforts; determine the mechanisms and consequences of pathogen evolution and interactions, including changes that inevitably occur among influenza viruses within and among animal species; and apply chicken genome information to the improvement of poultry and to the understanding of human diseases for which chickens are an effective model. University of Delaware Institute of Soil and Environmental Quality, $295,000 Funding to be used for a targeted research program on the fate, impact, and control of avian diseases in composts and soils. The Institute is a center of excellence for research, education, and outreach programs that provide science-based solutions to soil and environmental problems. U.S. Department of Agriculture Office in Newark — $137,5000 Invasive Species Funding to-Conduct Research to Control Emerald Ash Borer. NATIONAL FUNDING SPECIFICS: Avian Influenza, $28,337,000 Funding will be used for activities related to the prevention, control, and eradication of avian influenza, including $12,000,000 in carryover funds for indemnities. A program increase of $3,000,000 for detection, control, and eradication activities is provided in the conference agreement.