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Interior's wildlife chief resigns amid changes to endangered species rules

The Interior Department's wildlife chief resigned as the agency is in the middle of a making a number of changes to how it enforces endangered species protections.Sheehan is leaving at a time when the Interior Department issued three major regulations changing how it enforces the Endangered Species Act, which critics say favor developers and energy companies.Sheehan had served on the Utah wildlife management service before coming to Washington.

Animal drug user fee legislation clears Congress

House and Senate lawmakers secured passage of the Animal Drug & Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2018 (H.R. 5554/S.2434), which are vital to increasing veterinary access to drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The House passed the bill on July 16, and the Senate passed the bill on July 31. It now awaits the final signature by the President. The American Veterinary Medical Assn.

Senate minibus spending bill addresses ag needs

The Senate passed the minibus appropriations bill, which contains several important amendments addressing issues pertinent to agriculture. Besides funding for agriculture, the minibus also offers interior, financial and transportation funding. It also prohibits the closure of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices and provides funding to hire additional FSA loan officers.

Trump's trade aid plan could breach WTO farm subsidy limit

President Donald Trump’s $12 billion plan to compensate farmers for financial losses stemming from his decision to impose tariffs on imports could push U.S. trade-distorting farm subsidies to their highest level since the late 1990s and potentially exceed WTO limits, former U.S. agriculture officials said.The highly controversial trade aid package creates a policy contradiction as the U.S. gears up for trade talks with the European Union.

Giant shipload of soya beans circles off China, victim of trade war with US

A shipment of soya beans worth more than $20m (£15.5m) has been bobbing aimlessly in the Pacific Ocean for a month, a casualty of the escalating trade war between China and the US.Lingering uncertainty over the cargo’s fate offered a timely reminder of the fallout from a dispute that intensified on Wednesday, as the US president, Donald Trump, unveiled a second round of tariffs on $16bn of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.China hits back against latest US tariffs; pound hit by Brexit worries – as it happened.

USDA to relocate ERS and NIFA outside of Washington

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced further reorganization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, intended to improve customer service, strengthen offices and programs, and save taxpayer dollars. The Economic Research Service, currently under USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area, will realign once again with the Office of the Chief Economist under the Office of the Secretary. Additionally, most employees of ERS and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will be relocated outside of the National Capital Region.

Minn. hog producer, other Midwest ag businesses targeted in sweeping ICE raid

Minnesota’s Christensen Farms, one of the nation’s largest pork producers, was among the nearly dozen agriculture businesses to receive warrants Wednesday from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau on allegations that they are exploiting illegal immigrants. ICE issued search warrants for worksite violations at Christensen Farms hog production properties in Appleton, Minn.; Sleepy Eye, Minn.; and Atkinson, Neb.

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