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Clarifications for Stakeholders – Farm Bill Section 12203

What does it mean if a disease/pest is on the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern List?

As required by Section 12203(b) of the 2018 Farm Bill, this list means that the listed pest or disease is likely to pose a significant risk to U.S. food and agricultural infrastructure and warrants efforts at prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The presence or absence of a disease or pest on this list does not preclude APHIS from taking appropriate actions to protect plant or animal health. If a threat emerges that is not on the list, APHIS will respond appropriately.

How does APHIS use the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern List?

Section 12203(b) of the 2018 Farm Bill codified many activities that APHIS already performs, including the development and exercising of emergency response plans. APHIS created the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern List as one of the statutory requirements of Section 12203(b). Veterinary Services (VS) and Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) maintain other pest or disease lists for specific purposes. APHIS uses this list to bring awareness to disease and pest threats that pose a significant risk to U.S. food and agricultural infrastructure.

What about the VS High-Consequence List of Diseases?

VS maintains a list of foreign animal diseases and pests of high-consequence based on risk and consequences of introduction into the United States. This list is used to guide APHIS preparedness and response activities. It was last updated in 2013 and is currently under review. When it is finalized, VS may determine that an update to the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern List is warranted.

How is this list of Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern related to the National List of Reportable Animal Diseases?

The Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern list is separate from the National List of Reportable Animal Diseases (NLRAD). NLRAD is a list of diseases that are agreed to by State and Federal partners, to ensure reporting and standardized information sharing for various animal diseases. The diseases on the NLRAD are divided into two categories: notifiable diseases and conditions, and monitored diseases. Proposed NLRAD diseases can be found at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/monitoring_surveillance/nlrad-system-standards.pdf. The notifiable diseases and conditions is then subdivided into emergency incidents, emerging disease incidents, and regulated disease incidents. Monitored diseases are those endemic (present) diseases of interest in the United States.

APHIS has proposed to amend current regulations to add a new part to 9 CFR subchapter B that would provide and recognize a formal NLRAD, as well as disease reporting requirements for animal health professionals identifying or suspecting NLRAD-listed diseases or conditions.

What about the PPQ Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) List or the U.S. Regulated Plant Pest List?

The CAPS List is used for pest detections through national surveys. The plant diseases and pests included in the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern list are a subset of this CAPS List. The CAPS List is available at http://caps.ceris.purdue.edu/pest-surveillance-guidelines/2020.

The Regulated Plant Pest list includes those pests that PPQ regulates under the authority of the Plant Protection Act. For more information on the criteria used for developing and updating this list, as well as the list itself, please visit the U.S. Regulated Plant Pest List webpage.

How is this list of Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern related to Farm Bill Section 12101 or Plant Protection Act 7721?

The list of Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern was required by Farm Bill Section 12203(b) in the 2018 Farm Bill and is independent from other sections of the 2018 Farm Bill or previously enacted Farm Bills.

Section 12101 of the 2018 Farm Bill established a three-part program to help APHIS support animal disease prevention and management. The bill included funding to create two new programs: the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank and the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program. It also expands funding opportunities for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. VS may use the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern List, and any feedback received on this list, as one of multiple sources of input that may guide funding priorities under Section 12101.

View the 2018 Farm Bill Section 12101 and associated funding website for more information. 

The 2008 Farm Bill established the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program. The Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the 2014 Farm Bill) amended the Plant Protection Act to include the National Clean Plant Network and the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, making them permanent. It also authorized funding for both programs. Both programs—the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program and the National Clean Plant Network—are now codified under Plant Protection Act Section 7721.

Please find more information on Plant Protection Act Section 7721 and associated funding website.

Is there funding associated with Farm Bill Section 12203?

There was no funding associated with Farm Bill Section 12203(b) in the 2018 Farm Bill. There is no specific funding associated with the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pest of Concern List.

What should I do if I wish to suggest an addition of a disease or pest to the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern list?

APHIS welcomes public feedback on the contents of the list. If suggesting additions or changes, please provide references or technical documentation on how the pest/disease meets the definition of “likely to pose a significant risk to the food and agriculture critical infrastructure” in your response. Send your suggestions for additions or changes to APHISPestDiseaseList@usda.gov. APHIS intends to review the list of Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern on an annual basis and update the list as appropriate. APHIS reserves the right to update the list more frequently, as needed. 

How will I know if a disease or pest has been added to the list?

APHIS intends to review this list on an annual basis and update the list as appropriate. APHIS will make the public aware of any changes, including a message on the Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern List webpage.

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