NEBRASKA CATTLEMEN URGES USDA TO PROVIDE TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL ASSISTANCE

(July 15, 2009) LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska Cattlemen joins Governor Dave Heineman and Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach in thanking all five members of the Nebraska congressional delegation for the joint letter they sent to USDA requesting that indemnity funds be made available for depopulation of herds infected with tuberculosis.

Nebraska Cattlemen Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey said, “We commend Nebraska Department of Agriculture and USDA officials and staff for their collaborative efforts to investigate the case of tuberculosis in Nebraska. Similar unity from our congressional delegation is also important and appreciated. Their request for USDA to use Animal Health Protection Act funds and from other USDA and Commodity Credit Corporation funds to pay indemnities for the depopulation of herds infected with tuberculosis is appropriate, warranted and vital,” Kelsey said.

Because Nebraska law prohibits the state from paying indemnity for any animal destroyed as a result of being affected with bovine tuberculosis, federal assistance is the sole source of livestock indemnity funding.

Kelsey added, “Indemnity funds will allow the individual rancher and his family to return to being a normal contributing part of the community. In addition, the requested funds will play a large role in controlling the disease and maintaining cattle related commerce that is the cornerstone to Nebraska's economy.”

The Nebraska Cattlemen association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer members determine issues of importance to the state beef industry. NC performs three basic functions. First, the association represents the beef cattle industry to the legislative and administrative branches of the state and federal governments. Second, it explains beef production (including safety of the product, use of natural resources, care of animals and beef economics) to the public and opinion influencers. Third, it provides economic and other information to members to aid them in their own planning and management. Each member has the opportunity to influence state cattlemen's association policy and priorities through participation in councils and committees. NC programs are financed by dues invested by individual members.

The Nebraska Cattlemen association serves as the representative for the state's beef cattle industry and represents professional cattle breeders, ranchers and feeders, as well as 48 county and local cattlemen's associations. Its headquarters are in Lincoln and second office in Alliance serves cattlemen in western Nebraska.

This and other Nebraska Cattlemen information is available at www.nebraskacattlemen.org.







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