On Monday, the President released his FY2012 budget. As the budget relates to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS), it provides for $832.706 million.
The President's FY2012 proposed budget for the WS operations shows a $10 million reduction including the elimination of directives for livestock protection in South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, West Virginia and Pennsylvania and wolf control funds in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan plus millions generally from the program operations.
State sheep producers and woolgrower associations should visit with their congressional delegation on the critical need to oppose the administration budget reductions in WS.
"If you are a state with a directive targeted for elimination, your congressional delegation needs to add the amount of your program funding back towards the total current appropriations of $77,780,000. As each state gets its money successfully added back to the total appropriations, we believe the department can then appropriately spend funds to keep the state or regional programs operating," stated Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). " Absent the option of representatives or senators to "ear mark" or direct where the money is spent, by adding money to the program, USDA can work with longtime cooperators such as the sheep industry to keep livestock protection in place."
APHIS Veterinary Services is also impacted with a proposed reduction of $2 million from the scrapie eradication program.
"It is disappointing that a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, such as scrapie, would be shorted disease eradication funding," continued Orwick. "ASI will be supporting full appropriations while closely viewing a restructuring of disease surveillance and response."