March 16, 2012
The American Sheep Industry Association joined other livestock groups in sending a letter to the members of the House and Senate agriculture committees requesting the inclusion of $1 million for the Minor Use Animal Drug Program (MUADP) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.
Even though the president's budget did not allocate funding for the program in FY2012 or FY2013, many agriculture experiment stations throughout the United States continued providing minimal, temporary funding in FY2012 because they recognized the program's importance.
The MUADP is a cost-effective program that has several important impacts:
- Economic impact: Agricultural production of fish, game birds, sheep, goats, ostrich, emu, rhea, honeybees and deer is essential to numerous regional economies in the United States. This diverse aggregation of minor species represents approximately $4.8 billion in farm gate revenues annually. Processing, use and export of minor species food and fiber products produce an additional $37 billion economic stimulus to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. These revenues and industries are seriously threatened by the lack of appropriate drugs to treat these important species.
- Food and animal safety: Without this program, America's minor species producers would not have safe and effective products to keep their livestock healthy. Through a productive MUADP, producers and veterinarians will continue to have the necessary information to prevent disease-related losses, to reduce pain and suffering in these species and avoid contamination of our foods with drug residues.
- Supports Food and Drug Association (FDA) approval of drugs: Since its inception, MUADP's public/private partnership has been responsible for cost-effective FDA drug approvals for minor food animal species. The funding for this program, ranging from $226,000-$611,000 per year, has resulted in 45 FDA drug approvals (an average of 1.6 per year) for minor food animal species. An FDA drug approval typically costs $10-$20 million; therefore, this program has a significant cost-benefit ratio. Unfortunately, the individual minor food animal species are not revenue generating for pharmaceutical companies so the MUADP is the only mechanism for these commodity groups to have FDA approved drugs and to be able to continue to ensure a safe food supply.
Given the unique and critical role the MUADP plays in minor species industries, the signators strongly urged support of and funding for the program in the FY2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.