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Agricultural Biosecurity
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Saturday, 26 January 2002

Biodefense Reference Library: In The Spotlight
January 23, 2002: UK Telegraph: 10 million animals were slaughtered in foot
and mouth cull: [Edited]
· The number of animals slaughtered in the foot and mouth outbreak could
be as high as 10 million - more than twice as high as official Government

· The Government said that 4,068,000 animals were culled between the first
case on Feb 20 and the 2,030th and last case detected on Sept 30. But the
commission says that the true total is 10,849,000.

· The official figures do not include two million animals slaughtered for
welfare reasons such as dwindling feed and space. The National Farmers
Union included these in its estimates.

· But according to Jane Connor, economic forecaster at the Meat and
Livestock Commission, many more animals were overlooked because they were
either killed with their mothers - and counted as only one animal - or
because they were killed after foot and mouth had closed the market for
them, in which case they were not counted at all.

· According to her calculations, at least 1.2 lambs "at foot" were killed
with each breeding sheep - amounting to four million lambs slaughtered but
not counted.

· And the official toll of 595,000 cattle did not include 100,000 calves
and 50,000 calves close to birth that were killed with them, the commission
said. About 500,000 lambs were killed in the light lamb disposal plan
because they were considered unsellable.


Agriculture is one of Americas critical infrastructures. It requires a
domestic preparedness program to protect an industry worth hundreds of
billions of dollars that directly or indirectly employs millions of people.

Significant progress has been made since September 11, but concerns remain
that the deliberate introduction of a foreign animal disease (FAD) in
multiple locations and/or with multiple pathogens could overwhelm an
emergency response system. In this context, it is crucial that solid
contingency plans are established that encompass the capacity to handle any
threat against the United States food and agricultural system. Veterinary
and scientific experts have presented the following priority issues:

1. The immediate need for FAD training in schools and colleges of
veterinary medicine and continuing education programs for veterinarians in
the field. The lack of emphasis in training for the recognition of FADs has
compromised the capacity of many field veterinarians to recognize the
diseases that were once a scourge of livestock and which initially led to
the development of the profession itself [1]. This need has prompted the
development of the Humanitarian Resource Institute Foreign Animal and
Zoonotic Disease Center, which provides access to online educational
resources for both medical and veterinary professionals [2].

2. Consistent required reporting of zoonotic animal diseases, especially
bioterrorist agents, by veterinary health officials to public health
officials in all 50 states [3].

3. A FAD response plan that includes a vaccination strategy and capacity
for rapid restoration of international exports to minimize potential
widespread economic damage (constant with needs outlined at the OIE/FAO
International Scientific Conference on foot and mouth disease 17-18 April
2001) [4].

4. The need for close coordination and support of the United States,
Canadian, and Mexican governments in the event that a FAD outbreak occurs
first in the geographic region of North America [5]. Domestic preparedness
includes awareness of the threat, a unified collaborative strategic plan,
and commitment of government, livestock industries, farmers organizations,
and the general public [6].


[1] Corrie Brown, Threat of Accidental Foreign Animal Disease Introduction,
AVMA Annual Meeting, July 23, 2000

[2] Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Center, Humanitarian Resource
Institute Biodefense Reference Library.

[3] Ann M Fitzpatrick, Jeff B Bender. Survey of chief livestock officials
regarding bioterrorism preparedness in the United States. Journal of the
American Veterinary Medical Association, November 1, 2000.

[4] OIE/FAO International Scientific Conference on foot and mouth disease
17-18 April 2001.
[5] Tripartite Exercise 2000, United States foreign animal disease response
simulation exercise final reports and summaries, Humanitarian Resource
[6] Stephen M Apatow. Agricultural security and emergency preparedness:
protecting one of Americas critical infrastructures. HRIBRL Discussion
Paper ASEP-2001-12, Humanitarian Resource Institute, December 2001.

Source: Stephen M Apatow. Impact of the foot and mouth epidemic on the
equestrian industry in the UK - a reference point for the United States.
HRIBRL Discussion Paper FMDEI-2001-12, Humanitarian Resource Institute,
December 2001, pp. 6-8.

The Biodefense Reference Library is a collaborative initiative of
international medical, veterinary and scientific experts to share
information and enhance academic discussion of issues associated with
preparedness, response, mitigation and policy. For additional information,

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