The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved its $124.3 billion fiscal year 2010 agriculture appropriations bill by a vote of 80 to 17.
Of the sheep priorities that the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) included in the Senate bill, like those in the House version, were $17.9 million for the scrapie eradication program, $76.3 million for Wildlife Services (WS) operations and $18.63 million for WS research and methods development. The bill also included full funding of $200 million for the Market Access Program and $34.5 million for the Foreign Market Development Program, both of which are used by ASI to promote U.S. sheep industry products overseas.
In the WS portions of the legislation, the Senate committee disagreed with the budget request to reduce funding for WS operations to allow cooperators to assume a larger share of the costs associated with mitigating wildlife damage, voting instead to provide funding to continue cooperation with states to conduct wildlife management programs.
The U.S. House passed its version of the bill in July. The next step will be for a House-Senate conference to reconcile differences in the two versions.
Staff Contact: Peter Orwick, Ext. 33