Appropriations Bill Addresses Industry Concerns
February 15, 2019

On Thursday, the House of Representatives and Senate approved a package to complete the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process. The package included a number of key provisions for the sheep industry.

Specifically, the bill funded Equine, Cervid and Small Ruminant Health under the USDA/APHIS budget line at $20.8 million, including a congressional directive that $800,000 of those funds help support the National Scrapie Eradication Program and address chronic wasting disease. Wildlife Damage Management was funded at $108.376 million and Methods Development at $18.856 million.

Interior appropriations also continued the inclusion of language directing the Department of Interior to "engage the Agricultural Research Service to ensure the best scientific understanding of where disease transmission occurs and the degree of that risk and assist the Forest Service with identifying all allotments that are suitable for sheep grazing." The Interior bill also included a prohibition on listing the Greater Sage Grouse on the Endangered Species list.

Finally, the bill included the continuation of language prohibiting the Department of Transportation from enforcing the Electronic Logging Mandate for livestock haulers. ASI is pleased to see so many of the issues the industry has worked on included in this funding package. The president is expected to sign the legislation today, averting a possible partial government shutdown.