A coalition of more than 150 agricultural organizations is urging Congressional appropriators to close an estimated $630 million funding shortfall for agricultural inspectors at ports-of-entry.
The coalition stated its case in a letter written to key members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Customs and Border Protection Specialists, Technicians, and Canine Teams inspect ag imports to prevent the entry of foreign plant and animal pests and diseases, such as Foot and Mouth Disease.
“We must continue to fund our CBP Ag Inspectors and give them the resources they need so that they can continue to be vigilant at our ports of entry,” Allison Rivera, Director of Government Affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said.
“We depend on those inspectors to ensure that American agriculture remains safe,” said National Pork Producers Council President Howard “A.V.” Roth. “They’re the first line of defense to ensure that African Swine Fever and other foreign animal diseases remain outside the United States borders.”
The NPPC says lapsed vigilance of these inspections would have devastating consequences for all of U.S. agriculture.