Today, Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to examine the federal and state response to avian influenza.
Chairman Promises USDA/EPA Livestock Rule Scrutiny
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Texas) expressed renewed concern with new livestock regulations known as the Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations, announced today by the Vice President.
"Last year, we put our concerns on record with the Administration about how difficult it would be for producers to meet extreme regulatory demands," said House Agriculture Committee Larry Combest (R-Texas). "I am afraid that the USDA will either pass the buck to the EPA for enforcement or divert Agriculture Department manpower away from efforts to deliver on the many programs important to agriculture in this country. The true test is whether these Washington-know-it-all rules will match the common sense of farmers and stockmen who depend on this water and who work to see that it remains clean for themselves, their neighbors and their children for years to come.
"I hope that the Vice President is not just throwing money into more bureaucratic rule-making, and that he will learn to see that people who work the land are natural conservationists because they depend on this land for their livelihoods. At the very least, the Vice President and EPA should give livestock producers real assurance that they will not bear the cost of command and control regulations. The Agriculture Committee will scrutinize this very closely."