A bill giving Iowa’s Ag Secretary more authority to act if there’s an outbreak of “foot and mouth” disease will be considered in the House Ag Committee this morning. Representative Ralph Klemme, a republican from LeMars, says today, the Ag Secretary only has the authority to order that infected animals be destroyed.Klemme wants to give the Secretary additional authority to seal off an area around the farm where the infected animal’s been found to try to contain the disease.Klemme says the highly infectious disease could spread in just hours, before federal officials would be on the scene to shut things down. Klemme says Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge should be given the authority to step in quickly. Klemme says the Ag Secretary is closer to the problem and could be right on top of it before it spreads. Klemme says the committee is resisting the idea of giving Judge the authority to destroy property, like animals and farm buildings, where foot and mouth may be found.Klemme hopes the state never has a foot and mouth outbreak, but he says legislators want the state Ag Secretary to be ready to act if there is one.
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