WASHINGTON – Members of the Iowa congressional delegation have added their support for Governor Terry Branstad’s request for a federal declaration of a major disaster for the state due to catastrophic losses because of the avian flu outbreak.
“The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed,” the members wrote.
The disease has wiped out tens of millions of birds and cost producers hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Dozens of poultry farms in the state have been hit by the disease.
A copy of the text of the letter is below. A signed copy of the letter can be found here.
June 19, 2015
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We respectfully ask that you grant the request made by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of Iowa as a result of catastrophic losses due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) beginning on April 13, 2015, and continuing. Over 32 million birds have been culled in 18 counties, leading to numerous layoffs in the Iowa poultry and related industries. The counties of Buena Vista, Sioux, Webster, and Wright have been hardest hit by this ongoing and devastating disaster, although additional counties may be added as the outbreak spreads and additional losses are identified.
The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed.
Thank you for your prompt consideration of this request.
Senator Chuck Grassley Senator Joni Ernst
Representative Rod Blum Representative Dave Loebsack
Representative David Young