Today the proposed site is Manhattan, Kansas, which happens to be smack dab in the heart of cattle country. Posted below is some more recent news from R-CALF USA about the Plum Island animal disease research facility and the foolish idea of building a new research facility, not only on the main land but in an agricultural area with a dense population of livestock. To listen to a short audio clip from R-CALF about this, Click Here.
For me as a farmer and a resident of the state in which our government wants to locate this facility it is in my humble opinion that I don't care how much money is thrown at this issue or how many D.C. bigwigs swear by its safety while they sit behind their desks far away from America's farms and ranches and the people that could be affected by this decision; the fact of the matter is nobody can 100% guarantee there won't be an accident. One of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in Britain was from a research facility. Here is another news article about FMD outbreaks in the UK. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2007/2007-08-08-04.asp
I do understand this could bring money and some jobs to our state, but even as bad as Kansas needs the jobs it just is not worth the risk. Someone has to draw the line somewhere about just what we as a country are willing to risk for an extra buck or an extra job. If you feel like I do, I encourage you to contact your US Senators through http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and tell them to draw a line for our farmers and ranchers by improving or building their new facility on Plum Island where it has been for years and denying funding specifically for plans to relocate Plum Island animal research facility to the mainland. I do believe animal disease research is very important and should be fully funded but only in a logical place like Plum Island, not a stone's throw from many of America's farms, ranches and feedlots.
to Deny Funding for NBAF on
Washington, D.C. –
“Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed to establish a National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Kansas where research would be conducted on such highly contagious livestock diseases as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia,” the letter states. “As you begin to conference the FY2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, we urge you to deny funding for the NBAF project.”
R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a
“The House of Representatives acknowledged the dangers of placing a research facility in the heartland and it authorized no funding for the NBAF in
Other signers on the letter included: Cattle Producers of Washington; Center for Rural Affairs; Colorado Independent CattleGrowers’ Association; Dakota Resource Council; Dakota Rural Action; Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance; Food & Water Watch; Independent Beef Association of North Dakota; Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska; Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming; Kansas Cattlemen’s Association; Kansas Farmers Union; Mississippi Livestock Markets Association; Missouri's Best Beef, Inc.; National Farmers Union; Nebraska Farmers Union; New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association; New Mexico Federal Lands Council; Oregon Livestock Producers Association; Ozarks Property Rights Congress, Mo.; South Dakota Stockgrowers Association; The CJD Foundation; Western Organization of Resource Councils; and, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.
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