APHIS awards $22M to detect, combat animal diseases

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is awarding more than $22.2 million to enhance prevention, preparedness, early detection, and rapid response to the most damaging diseases threatening U.S. livestock, the agency announced in May.

The 81 new projects—led by 48 states, universities, industry organizations, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories—will increase the nation’s ability to rapidly respond to and control animal disease outbreaks.

APHIS is funding the projects for the federal fiscal year 2024 (FY 2024) through the 2018 Farm Bill’s National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). APHIS is also announcing an investment of an additional $900,000 in Farm Bill funds to replenish the national stockpile of classical swine fever vaccine.

A person counting eggs
Using heat to prevent highly pathogenic avian influenza from spreading through eggs is one of dozens of animal disease-fighting research projects awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service this May.

“Bolstering animal disease preparedness is crucial because these diseases devastate livestock and hardworking farmers whose animals are affected, and threaten America’s access to safe, healthy, affordable food,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at the USDA, in a press release.


APHIS is awarding $16.2 million to support 74 new projects through NADPRP. The projects will help states develop and practice plans to quickly control disease outbreaks, train responders and producers to perform critical animal disease outbreak response activities, increase producer use of biosecurity measures, educate livestock owners on disease prevention, and support animal movement decisions in animal disease outbreaks, among other things.

Some of the projects funded this year include the following:

  • Secure milk supply dairy biosecurity program evaluation and implementation in the Texas and eastern New Mexico dairy corridor, Texas A&M University
  • Continuing to build resiliency in the dairy industry through education and response tools, National Milk Producers Federation
  • Poultry health, biosecurity, and preparedness across borders: A tri-state & Navajo Nation initiative, Colorado State University
  • Development of a traceable method to thermally inactivate and sustainably dispose of eggs infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, University of Wisconsin
  • Developing a national-level equine operation and population dataset to inform decision-making for emergency planning and preparedness for disease management, Colorado State University
  • Develop and deliver educational resources to promote and support mental health resiliency in animal health responders and producers, Iowa State University
  • Advancing platform vaccines for use in sheep and goats, Iowa State University


APHIS is awarding over $1 million to seven NAHLN projects, plus an additional $5 million directly to NAHLN laboratories for infrastructure needs. The projects enhance early detection of high-consequence animal diseases and improve emergency response capabilities in the national network of NAHLN veterinary diagnostic laboratories. For example, a project in Texas will look at creating configurable online submission forms to improve the speed and accuracy of sample submission data. Another project, this one in Washington state, will evaluate viral enrichment strategies for next-generation sequencing of aquatic viruses.


The National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB) allows APHIS to stockpile animal vaccines and other related products to use in the event of an outbreak of certain high-consequence foreign animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), African swine fever, and classical swine fever.

In July 2023, APHIS announced that it would invest $6 million in NAVVCB purchases in FY 2024, including FMD vaccine and diagnostic test kits. In addition, APHIS will use $900,000 in Farm Bill funds to replenish USDA’s inventory of classical swine fever vaccine in FY 2024.

The 2018 Farm Bill provided funding for these programs as part of an overall strategy to help prevent animal pests and diseases and reduce the spread and impact of potential disease incursions with the goal or protecting and expanding market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products.