Four bipartisan lawmakers last week introduced a resolution in the U.S. house that they say recognizes the importance of biosecurity and agro-defense to overall national economic security, and underscores the need for completion of the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.
U.S. Senators Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., joined Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., in introducing the measure, which was subsequently approved. The effort is part of an initiative to develop the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor where hundreds of agricultural trade organizations and animal health companies call home, and finish NBAF.
"Further development of the Animal Health Corridor in the Kansas City region is the next step in bolstering our nation's biosecurity and agro-defense," Blunt commented following the resolution's approval. "Farm families in Missouri and nationwide understand the severity that these devastating attacks could have on our food supply, the agriculture industry, and our national security."
McCaskill said the resolution recognizes the importance of biosecurity to national safety, and to the ag industry as a whole. She highlighted the construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan.
"Strengthening our biosecurity starts with the completion of the facility in Manhattan," she said, "and continues with the further development of the Animal Health Corridor in the Kansas City region."
Once completed, NBAF will take over defense operations from the federal facility in Plum Island. According to a project timeline provided by the Department of Homeland Security, no date has been finalized for the completion of the project.
"The hardworking folks in America's heartland understand that the protection of our region's leading industry, agriculture, and of our nation's food supply is of the highest importance," Roberts said. "This resolution reminds our colleagues in Washington that addressing the critical vulnerabilities to our food supply and the agriculture economy must also be their top priority. Completion of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility is critical to the nation and to our states."
"The cost of an outbreak far outweighs the cost of construction, not only in the loss of human life but also its damage to the animal and agricultural industry," Moran commented. "As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to make certain NBAF remains a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security, the Administration and among Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle."