The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has appointed Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Director Bruce Akey, MS, DVM to a national consultation board.
This consultation board will assist USDA APHIS with implementing the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP). According to USDA APHIS, the NADPRP was established in 2018 by the Farm Bill and aims to advance the nation’s efforts to prevent high-consequence infectious animal diseases from entering and spreading across the United States.
Through the NADPRP, USDA APHIS collaborates with animal health partners across the United States to implement special projects aimed at preparedness, detection, mitigation, and response to foreign animal diseases. These diseases have the potential to seriously damage and disrupt the nation’s food supply and economic well-being. The current situation with COVID-19 in the human health arena is a stark reminder for the need to be prepared before the disease outbreak occurs.
Akey is one of 10 members nominated by the United States Animal Health Association representing states, industry and academia. Additional members are comprised of one representative from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and one Tribal nation representative.
The board’s primary objectives will consist of recommending annual funding priorities, providing input to improve program policies and processes, nominating experts to review and rank funding proposals, and making recommendations for the program’s annual spending plan.
To learn more about the NADPRP, visit aphis.usda.gov. For more information about TVMDL, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu or call one of the agency’s full service laboratories.