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NPPC and other groups urge additional staff for agriculture inspections at US ports of entry

National Pork Producers Council and other agriculture groups urge Congress to approve additional Customs personnel to conduct agriculture inspections at American ports of entry.

27 January 2020, at 10:13am

According to reporting from National Hog Farmer, the National Pork Producers Council and 70 other agriculture groups signed a letter urging the House Homeland Committee to approve legislation (HR 4482). The bill authorises funding to recruit additional Customs and Border Protection (CPB) personnel to conduct agriculture inspections at international ports of entry.

The bipartisan bill, introduced by Representative Filemon Vela (a Democrat from Texas) authorises over $220 million delivered over three years. This will enable CPB to hire 240 new agriculture specialists and technicians each fiscal year until the shortage has been addressed. The bill also authorises 60 new canine teams over the same period. Representative Vela’s legislation is the companion to Senate bill S 2107, which passed unanimously in October 2019.

"CBP agricultural specialists play a vital role in both trade and travel safety and prevent the introduction of harmful foreign animal diseases and exotic plant pests into the US. Diseases such as African swine fever, which has killed more than one out of every four pigs on the planet, would have a devastating impact on US livestock producers, their communities and the economy if introduced into the US," explained the letter to House Homeland Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (a Democrat from Mississippi) and Ranking Member Mike Rogers (a Republican from Alabama).

Read the original story in The National Hog Farmer.

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