Committee approves measure to improve livestock traceability

 

The House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee heard and passed a measure aimed at food safety on Jan. 30.

House Bill 2456, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Chandler, will provide a timely and accurate response to livestock disease. It aligns with federal law to enhance the ability to identify and trace disease, while protecting business information that could put ranchers at a competitive disadvantage.

“This is about ensuring we can trace diseases to the source expediently; producers can respond quickly and the public can be assured their food is safe,” said Chandler, ranking Republican on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “This helps producers provide timely information about potential problems with livestock and crops, while simultaneously ensuring their sensitive information is not made public during an investigation.”

Chandler said he introduced the legislation after incidents, recently and in the past, of diseases found in food produced in Washington.

“We need a 21st century strategy for food safety. With information sharing at the speed of light these days, we need to prioritize our response to public concerns over food,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “As an orchardist, I want to have confidence that I will be able to assure my customers my products are safe.”

The bill was supported in the public hearing by the Washington Cattlemen's Association and the Department of Agriculture. Next, the legislation moves to consideration by the full House of Representatives.

Contact: Sarah Stewart, Public Information Officer, (360) 786-7720

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov