USDA APHIS Veterinary Services issues notice regarding foreign animal disease (FAD) surveillance

The American Veterinary Medical Association

USDA-APHIS has issued the following notice to veterinarians regarding a need for increased FAD surveillance and reporting:

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge issued a statement last night regarding the decision to raise the national threat level from an Elevated to High risk of terrorist attack or Level Orange.

As a result of last night’s increased security level, foreign animal disease (FAD) surveillance should be increased nationwide. No potential FAD cases should be disregarded. Potential hoaxes should be treated as suspect incursions of FAD’s until proven otherwise. Specific attention should be directed at livestock and poultry concentration points.

Investigators and laboratory personnel should implement an appropriate level of personal protection when examining animals, carcasses, and submitting samples until potentially zoonotic diseases can be ruled out.

Physical security on farms, livestock concentration points, and quarantine stations should be heightened. Limited animal movements and farm contacts should be kept to essential people for continued operations.

All State-level Area Command Centers, not already running full-scale, should be activated at a minimum level.

This need for increased surveillance and reporting should be communicated to all facilities and personnel of the national animal disease monitoring network. Early detection remains the key to minimizing the impact of such a disease introduction.

The following attachment outlines Veterinary Services’ Draft Communications Plan that will be activated in the event of a possible animal threat.

If you have any questions, please contact:

USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, Emergency Programs at 301-734-8073, 800-940-6524, or EMOC@APHIS.USDA.GOV.


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