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USDA funds $30 million to support SARS-CoV-2 research in animals

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Part of American Rescue Plan Strategic Framework, to build an early warning system to prevent, limit next zoonotic disease outbreak or global pandemic.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is making $30 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding available to address SARS-CoV-2 in animals and advance the nation's ability to protect the health of humans and animals. This funding opportunity is part of APHIS' multipronged approach under its American Rescue Plan Strategic Framework, to build an early warning system to potentially prevent or limit the next zoonotic disease outbreak or global pandemic.

While the risk of transferring SARS-CoV-2 from animals to humans is low, it is important to understand the relationship between humans and animals so we can better prevent, detect, investigate and respond to SARS-CoV-2 in animals. APHIS recognizes that it must leverage partnerships and utilize external innovations, tools and capacity to meet this charge from Congress.

"We have a critical opportunity to move the science around SARS-CoV-2 in animals forward and better prepare our country to address the threats this and other emerging diseases pose to animals and humans. We are eager to work with partners through this funding opportunity to achieve those goals," said APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea.

This funding opportunity includes $25 million in general cooperative or interagency agreement funding for cooperators within U.S. States and territories, including State and Federal agencies, Tribal nations, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and private entities and $5 million specifically for Tribes, Tribal Organizations and those working on their behalf. APHIS is strategically targeting this funding to projects that will:

  • Address gaps in surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in animals.
  • Determine susceptibility of target animal species to SARS-CoV-2.
  • Help us understand potential roles of transmission for SARS-CoV-2 in animals.
  • Develop strategies to rapidly detect and characterize new SARS-CoV-2 variants.
  • Develop prevention and intervention strategies for SARS-CoV-2 in animals.

The general funding announcement will be open for 75 days, from Nov. 1, 2022, to Jan. 15, 2023. The tribal funding announcement will be open for 90 days, from Nov. 1, 2022, to Jan 31, 2023. Opportunities will be posted to Grants.gov and applications will be accepted through the ezFedGrants system for non-federal entities and by email for federal entities. APHIS will hold both general and Tribal webinars to provide more detailed information to those wishing to apply for the cooperative agreement funding. For more information on this and other funding opportunities, including webinar links and deadlines, check out APHIS' One Health website.

APHIS is using a One Health approach and conducting multiple projects under the American Rescue Plan Act aimed at understanding how the SARS-CoV-2 virus behaves in different animals, how it moves between animals and people, and what the agency can do to interrupt the chain of transmission.

Source: USDA APHIS, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

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