There’s been a setback in updating the U-S-D-A’s National Animal Disease Center in Ames. Congressman Tom Latham, a republican from Alexander, represents Ames, and he says the House and the Bush Administration supported spending 178-million dollars to complete the modernization project. But the Senate balked and provided 56-million dollars less. “What this does is, in effect, delay completion of the project down there by at least a year and add about six million dollars to the cost of the project,” Latham says. It’ll be a tough sell in the coming year to find the 62 million dollars that’ll be necessary to complete the project, according to Latham.”It’s going to be very difficult,” Latham says. Latham says the Animal Disease Center in Ames is crucial in ensuring food safety, homeland security and animal health. Latham says the lab that handles tests for Mad Cow disease is already updated, and the set-back in overall funding for the project will have no impact on the U-S-D-A’s ability to confirm whether preliminary tests of Mad Cow are indeed positive or false.
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