The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee reported fiscal year 2013 appropriations for agriculture this week.
Sen. Tim Johnson (S.D.), senior member of the committee, shared with the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services (WS) was approved with a $1-million increase above the current year to $73.5 million in operations.
ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick commented, "We are very encouraged with the effort of Sen. Johnson who is a strong proponent of livestock protection utilizing WS with the increased funds."
The committee also reported WS methods development with an increase to $19 million.
The next step for appropriations will be to the full Senate.
In related news, the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition (FAWC), of which ASI is a member, wrote to urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to reject any amendments to undermine the safety and efficiency of U.S. agriculture production through efforts to restrict or eliminate funding for WS.
The March letter spearheaded by ASI and signed by 152 organizations representing a broad range of food producers, wildlife organizations, sportsmen, local governments and resource interests that benefit from the cooperative efforts of the WS program was also forwarded to the Senate Appropriations Committee as they reviewed 2013 funding.