The World Organization for Animal Health Office of International Epizootics (OIE) said there is no evidence suggesting that animals play any role in the spread of H1N1 virus to humans. Therefore, the international trade of live pigs and other susceptible animal species and/or their products should continue uninterrupted. OIE Director General Bernard Vallat stated: “Pandemic H1N1 2009 virus infections in pigs and other susceptible animals were assessed as probable from the very first days after the virus was detected in humans. So, it does not come as a surprise that notifications of infection in new animal species are received; on the contrary, it demonstrates animal disease surveillance is efficient and functioning to the benefit of all.”
CDC Provides Guidance to Producers Concerning H1N1 — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published interim guidance for workers employed at swine farms to help prevent the spread of influenza A viruses, including the novel H1N1 influenza virus. The interim guidance provides information about recognizing the signs of influenza in pigs, the steps to take to prevent the transmission of influenza viruses from pigs to people and from people to pigs, surveillance and monitoring of workers’ health, indentifying high-risk groups, administering influenza antiviral drugs and vaccinating swine workers.
Senate Environment Committee Passes Climate Change Bill — The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry’s (D-MA) climate change bill, S. 1733, which would require a 20% cut in emissions by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. The committee Republicans boycotted the mark-up because of Chairwoman Boxer’s refusal for additional economic analysis of the legislation. Under the rules of the Senate, the committee was not able to consider any amendments to the bill because of the boycott. The bill now awaits consideration by other committees, including agriculture and finance.
USDA Crop Report — USDA’s Nov. 10 crop report projected this year’s corn crop at 12.9 billion bushels, down 1% compared to the October crop report. This would be the second-largest corn crop on record. Soybeans were projected at a record 3.32 billion bushels, which is 2% higher compared to last month’s report.
Bipartisan Support of Korea FTA — Eighty-eight Democrat and Republican congressmen wrote President Barack Obama urging him to prepare the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) for congressional consideration. The letter was sent as the administration prepares for President Obama’s meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. The letter said, “We understand that there are still some concerns with the agreement and we urge your administration to engage with South Korea to resolve these matters.” The major issue still to be resolved for key congressional leaders is automobiles.
P. Scott Shearer