A farm bill that cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee this week failed to authorize the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, which is in the news this week for catching a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a California dairy cow. Gina Luke of the American Veterinary Medical Association, who calls the lab a first line of defense against emerging livestock diseases, says the organization has been working to get authorization included in the bill to secure funding. "We think this is an incredibly important laboratory network," Luke said. "It seems like a penny-wise, pound-foolish decision. Our nation could suffer a devastating loss in agriculture were a disease to go undetected."
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