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Pennsylvania House Rejects Animal Health Funding Plan | Livestock News

Pennsylvania Democrats defeated a plan Tuesday to shift money from food assistance to animal health.

The 100-101 vote on a budget amendment signaled the relative importance of Democratic and GOP priorities, but it isn’t the final word on the funding.

Rep. Dan Moul, R-Adams, proposed moving $6 million — Ag Department spending increases proposed by Gov. Josh Shapiro — to fund the Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission.

The commission was created in 1988 in response to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the state five years earlier.

The commission advises the department on animal health matters and supports the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System, which links the veterinary labs at Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania and the state Department of Agriculture.

The lab system’s rapid testing of samples from sick birds has been crucial to the state’s response to avian influenza, which returned to the state last

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