FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jesse Cordray, Press Secretary
Emma Balzer, Press Secretary Intern
STATEHOUSE (March 23, 2021) – A bill sponsored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would address agricultural emergency procedures passed the Indiana Senate with bipartisan support this week.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) was not able to respond to a threat in the supply chain because the cause was not a diseased animal. House Enrolled Act 1420 would expand BOAH's emergency powers, allowing them to be used during other disasters, such as future pandemics, chemical events or natural disasters.
"Fortunately, unlike other states, Indiana meatpacking facilities were able to overcome the brief supply-chain back up they experienced at the onset of the pandemic," Leising said. "Had facilities been required to remain closed, animals would have needed to be depopulated. Should another health crisis or the like occur, HEA 1420 provides the necessary safeguards needed to prevent another supply-chain back up."
HEA 1420 will now be sent to Gov. Holcomb for further consideration.