0109KCAOpposesNBAFSiteinKSs.cfm Malatya Haber Kansas Cattlemen's Association opposes NBAF site in state
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Kansas Cattlemen's Association opposes NBAF site in state


The state of Kansas recently signed a land transfer agreement turning over 46 acres of land to the Department of Homeland Security so that construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility may begin in Manhattan, Kansas.

The government persistence and progression of this project is very concerning to many cattlemen in Kansas and across the country. The Kansas Cattlemen's Association has strict opposition policy regarding the location of the future NBAF site. In December, KCA producer members voted on association policy and overwhelmingly indicated that they do not support the NBAF project being located in Kansas. Disease outbreak is just one of many concerns expressed by cattlemen. From the time that Manhattan was chosen, KCA has shared its concerns with policy makers and questioned the security of the facility. KCA has continuously been involved in monitoring the progress of the NBAF and during the 2012 annual convention, the Department of Homeland Security Site Manager for the NBAF was invited to provide an update on the site details and address the construction factor of the facility.

Construction delays and safety concerns have prolonged the implementation process. Funding has also been a factor in proceeding with the construction. Although the Kansas Congressional delegation and many state senators and representatives, including Gov. Sam Brownback, support the NBAF project in Kansas, KCA is committed to opposing the location of the site.

"Our members have spoken. Kansas Cattlemen strongly promote extensive bio-security measures to prevent the release of animal disease agents into the environment. They just do not want the facility in their back yard. Kansas is at the heart of cattle country, and the livestock population is susceptible to numerous foreign diseases. An outbreak can have severe consequences for producers and consumers. There are unintended consequences that can destroy our industry and leave consumers dependent on foreign food. Every step of the way, KCA will oppose progress of the NBAF site in Manhattan. We will work with legislators, however rare here in Kansas, who understand our views and appreciate our concerns. We will also work with legislators from other states who have similar concerns. KCA will work with Homeland Security to protect producers from the potential release of hazardous materials and/or contaminations. While opposing this site location, we will still work with agencies to ensure that should a foreign disease be released from any site, producers will be compensated fairly should damages occur. KCA is still committed to maintaining and implementing a workable emergency management plan and protecting our borders from foreign diseases. The cost of this project has been immensely inflated, and it's tax payers that are being charged with paying this huge bill. Tax payers should have a say, and cattlemen will continue to stand up to protect their industry and consumers alike," according to KCA.

Last year, the National Research Council reviewed a number of concerns and made suggestions for providing additional safety to the facility including distributing research throughout the country and scaling back the facility. The facility is expected to cost $1.14 billion and is currently scheduled to be completed in 2020. No actual building construction has yet taken place.

Date: 1/14/2013

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