August 22, 2003
Cost-Sharing for Emergency Programs
The Animal Agricultural Coalition (ACC) early this week learned that its request to extend the comment period on a July 8 Federal Register entitled ?Cost-Sharing for Animal and Plant Health Emergency Programs? was granted by Under Secretary William Hawks. In a letter to the agency, the coalition requested more time to consider how the proposed changes will affect producer compensation as well as how it will affect the time and processes involved in responding to an animal health emergency.
The Register, published by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), proposed new regulations that would ?establish criteria to determine the Federal share of financial responsibility relative to States and other cooperators in an emergency in which an animal or plant pest or disease threatens the agricultural production of the United States.?
APHIS believes that a better defined and more consistent approach to cost sharing and the allocation of financial responsibility among the Federal Government, State(s) and other cooperators would improve planning and funding decisions in emergency programs. They proposed that pre-determined cost-sharing percentages apply to certain emergency program activities. APHIS believes the fixed-formula approach would make resource planning decisions simpler for all parties and lessen the chances for delays in eradication.
ACC plans to offer carefully considered comments on the proposed rule to this shared responsibility. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) is a member of the ACC, which is a compilation of U.S. livestock associations working together for the betterment of the industry.
A 60-day extension to the initial comment period of Sept. 8 was granted. Comments will now be considered until about Nov. 8, 2003.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33