DC, March 26, 2004 (ENS): To prepare for the
introduction of animal diseases into the U.S. meat production
pathway - whether by terrorists or by accident - Agriculture
Secretary Ann Veneman has released an informational
compact disc for federal and state agriculture first
“This new tool provides federal, state and private
veterinarians immediate access to resources and relevant
information to help them more effectively identify,
respond to, control and facilitate recovery from a foreign
animal disease outbreak,” Veneman said.
The compact disc, “Food Security: The Threat
to American Livestock,” was developed in conjunction
with Auburn University.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service, (APHIS) helps to
ensure the safety of all animal and plant products from
the farm to the food distribution centers located around
the country. The agency has begun an extensive program
to enhance its readiness to detect, deter and respond
to terrorist events involving plant or animal pathogens.
State and federal officials who have a role to fulfill
in the event of an unintentional or intentional threat
to U.S. livestock will also have access to this data
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11,
2001, Veneman formed a Homeland Security Council within
the Agriculture Department to develop a plan and coordinate
efforts among all USDA agencies and offices. The council
focused on food supply and agriculture production, USDA
facilities and staff and emergency preparedness.
APHIS’ compact disc addresses emergency preparedness.
It attempts to place homeland security issues front
and center for private veterinary practitioners and
other agricultural first responders, as they conduct
their daily activities.
The CD offers comprehensive information on infectious
disease threats to livestock, animal disease awareness
briefings, standard veterinary medical information for
diagnosing such diseases, and emergency information
gathering and reporting mechanisms.
The CD outlines routine biosecurity measures for on-site
farm visits, recommends emergency response plans and
suggests disease monitoring methods.