SAINT PAUL, MN—The Minnesota House of Representatives declared an urgency, suspending the rules Thursday to take up legislation
) providing emergency funds to the Department of Agriculture and Board of Animal Health in order to better prevent and respond to the avian influenza outbreak that has devastated Minnesota turkey flocks. The House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of this measure. Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) authored House File 2224
, which is a similar provision included in the House Agriculture Finance Committee Omnibus bill announced Wednesday.
To date, 14 counties in Minnesota have been affected by avian influenza including Ottertail, Roseau, Kandiyohi, Stearns, Cottonwood, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lyon, Meeker, Nobles, Pope, Redwood, Swift and Watonwan.
“Since the avian flu outbreak began to spread, I have been visiting frequently with growers and processors in our area, and working to monitor this situation," Baker said. "I am very pleased the House took action to address this very real and very pressing problem. I truly appreciate Governor Dayton's response to the avian flu outbreak, and the seamless response from commissioners, federal health officials, producers, and state and local officials."
Baker attended a press conference hosted by Governor Dayton to discuss the outbreak, as well as the joint hearing of the House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committees held Thursday morning to receive an update on the avian influenza response and management.