November 9, 2007
November 9, 2007 - During floor time on Thursday, Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) offered an amendment to authorize National Research Project Number 7 (NRSP-7), a minor use animal drug program. The program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration, carries out valuable research at land grant institutions across the country for veterinary pharmaceutical needs.
Barrasso began by recognizing the economic value of the sheep industry in Wyoming and nationally. The NRSP-7 research has led to the approval of three drugs for respiratory diseases and two drugs for lungworms in sheep, and researchers are currently testing florfenicol for respiratory infections and a progesterone delivery method for breeding purposes. NRSP-7 provides the right research on appropriate drugs for responsible uses so that sheep producers know they are getting the best treatment for their animals.
USDA established a national minor use animal drug program in 1982 to facilitate research for the drug approval process. NRSP-7 offers an opportunity for producers of minor animal species, such as sheep, to have veterinary drugs approved for their use. Individually, these minor species represent drug markets too small to cover the high cost of developing new veterinary medicines. As a result, few approved drugs are available to treat diseases in these species.
The minor use animal drug program offers sheep ranchers the same opportunity as other livestock operators to maintain healthy flocks and businesses, said Barrasso
"The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) appreciates the efforts by Sen. Barrasso in offering this amendment on behalf of sheep producers," commented Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. "ASI was informed by program administrators last month that Farm Bill authorization would be necessary since the program did not receive federal appropriations this year.
"We commend Sen. Barrasso for taking the lead on this issue as well as the current amendment co-sponsors Sens. Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), Larry Craig (Idaho), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Tim Johnson (S.D.). Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33