Veterinary Services now has a multiyear Training and Exercise Plan. The plan follows the principles of the DHS National Incident Management System preparedness cycle and the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). Click the link to see the plan and the webinar explaining it’s evolution.
Lisa Brown, Logistician for the National Veterinary Stockpile (NVS), delivered an in depth webinar focused on accurately completing the NVS 213RR (resource request for emergencies), and the process for approval of requests and what to expect once it is approved. She also walked participants through completion of the Statement of Work (SOW) questionnaire for requesting 3D (depopulation, disposal, decontamination) activities for an incident, and the NVS's process from the time it is submitted until the tasks of the SOW are complete.
Large-scale animal mortality disposal is a challenging undertaking, requiring a multi-faceted approach during planning, implementation, and restoration. Some of the challenges that often face mass mortality disposal practitioners are the unique locations, operations, and site characteristics that have the potential to create acute or chronic environmental concerns. By developing skills and processes to identify and mitigate the generation, transport, and impacts of environmental contamination, practitioners are able to orchestrate a more efficient, safer, and effective operation, while avoiding regulatory and public relations issues stemming from air, land, and water impacts. This webinar offered a framework for the assessment of mass mortality disposal sites and operations to assist practitioners address environmental issues during the planning process and in the field.
With USDA NIFA funding, a new Healthy Farms Healthy Agriculture website (https://healthyagriculture.org) has been created to provide comprehensive farm-level agricultural biosecurity information. The site serves as a hub for biosecurity resources organized around three key mission areas or objectives: prevent, detect, and respond. Visitors to the site can find livestock-specific recommendations, training materials for youth, templates for assessing risks, and forums for sharing among biosecurity-related communities of practice. Planning resources and tools, including a modular biosecurity plan builder, were featured on this webinar. Project Director Julie Smith and Communications Professional Joanna Cummings of the University of Vermont asked for participants input as these planning resources were finalized, in order to make these resources as useful as possible for both farmers and regulatory agencies.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) and Emergency Management Response System (EMRS) staff have coordinated to expand EMRS capability for data collection during their annual animal emergency exercises. KDA phone bank staff provide front line assistance to collect data on the initial contact report. Information collected is quickly and easily captured and immediately available to other sections of the Incident Management TEAM. This webinar took a look at Kansas specific modifications to EMRS to assist in data collection.
Over the past few months, the public and many state and federal agencies have become familiar with the critical function of a national stockpile in a disease outbreak. The webinar presented by Dr. Davis provided an overview of APHIS's National Veterinary Stockpile. The NVS Program provides States the countermeasures they need to respond to a damaging animal disease outbreak. States must have a resource management plan to ensure responders get what they need. To ensure responders get help quickly, the NVS program works with States before an outbreak to help them plan a logistics response to acquire, receive, store, stage, and distribute the resources needed for a large outbreak response after they have exhausted state and local supplies. This was the first of 2-3 webinars presented by NVS personnel.
The VS NTEP webinar Public Interface Approaches During an FAD addressed systems used to receive public and industry questions during an FAD outbreak, to assure consistent message delivery, to facilitate disease reporting, and to support identification of operations housing susceptible species in a control zone. Both the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture provided examples of how their systems address these issues and specifics on the operational details of their systems. USDA APHIS Legislative and Public Affairs will review critical considerations when preparing and delivering information to the public, during a FAD outbreak. The Webinar ended with a question and answer period. This webinar was designed to assist states and VS Districts in establishing responsive, accurate and consistent mechanism and information for real time interaction with the public and industry.
This webinar provided an overview of the application of epidemiologic modeling to evaluate the use of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine in response to an outbreak and considerations for States and Tribes in developing their FMD vaccination plans.
The speaker for this webinar was Dr. Lindsey Holmstrom. Dr. Holmstrom is a veterinary epidemiologist at USDA APHIS VS Strategy and Policy's Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health.
Wellbeing and resilience may be taken for granted daily, however with a disease outbreak and response it is necessary to support wellbeing of ourselves and others. The presentation discussed an explanation of wellbeing; suggestions to support and enhance it before, during and after a response for responders and farmers; and options for assisting others with procedures, and processes that have proven effective with other emergencies.
The speaker Edward Malek, who is a National Animal Health Operations Specialist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, is developing operational policy and guidance for the poultry hatcher program, and emergency preparedness for the compensation and disposal of animals.
Danelle Bickett-Weddle, Associate Director for the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University was the speaker for this webinar.
This webinar focused on the guidance available in the Secure Beef Supply Plan so producers, packers, states, and federal animal health officials can work together to further define the permit process to move feedlot cattle to harvest during a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. Topics addressed included pre-outbreak steps for feedlots and packers, resources available for enhanced biosecurity, disease monitoring, and the current status of surveillance options to demonstrate no evidence of FMD infection in cattle. Having the SBS Plan guidance implemented, when possible, prior to an FMD outbreak can speed up a successful response and eventually enable the issuance of animal movement permits.
Dr. Shawn Bolton VMO presented his Grass Roots Project. This webinar covered recent training, preparedness and response to New World Screwworm infestations. The presentation focused on surveillance methods including current and developing methods of active and passive surveillance to determine zines of infestation and effective distribution of flies in a Sterile Insect Release Program.
Dr. Bolton's project was formulated as the result of the screwworm infestation of Key deer in the Florida Keys on September 30, 2016. An immediate FAD emergency response team was deployed to the site to begin the eradication process which included the release of over 101 Million sterile make flies in the area. Eradication was declared on March 23, 2017. As the result of this incursion, it was apparent that a better surveillance and trapping of New World Screwworm flies needed to be developed.
This webinar provided a review of the cleaning and disinfection process with information from previous research on experimental methods. Information was provided on current and past methods of C&D during HPAI and vND. There was also a sample of methods used to clean and disinfect in cold weather. At the end of the webinar there was a "lessons learned" segment from individuals that participated in emergency response activities, as well as time for others to comment and ask questions.
This webinar discussed the risks associated with food product disposal and the proximity to feral swine and landfills in California. A discussion regarding food waste composting related to this topic was also included.
The speaker for this webinar was Andy Femino who has been employed with the California Department of Food and Agriculture for seven years. As a Research Data Specialist/SME in disposal, he is assigned to the emergency programs unit of the animal health branch. His responsibilities include the development of policy, providing direction and leadership in the development, assessment, communication, and implementation of disposal advocacy through regulatory and stakeholder relations.
The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) and the USDA VS Equine Health Team discussed the new Veterinary Services Guidance (VSG) regarding approval of laboratories to conduct tests for EIA. A Q&A session is included as well.
Dr. Darrel Stules was the speaker for this webinar. This webinar was intended to examine Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine prioritization in a broad manner and to identify gaps to be addressed such that both States and Tribes can better formulate their FMD Vaccination Herd/Flock Plans.
The use of emergency vaccination to respond to an FMD outbreak within a state will be approved by the Unified Command, the State (or Tribal) Animal Health Official (SAHO), and the APHIS VS Deputy Administrator acting on the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture.
The webinar provided an overview of the African Swine Fever Surveillance (ASF) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Developed for the September ASF exercise and to familiarize exercise players with the surveillance approaches being considered during the exercise. These include a clinical scoring guide for on farm application, sample sizes, and targeted sampling approaches that might be used in an outbreak. Discussion of the ASF surveillance SOP was followed by an overview of the Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health's national ASF disease spread model which simulated ASF spread between domestic swine premises in the United States. The model included a variety of integrated control measures that could be used to evaluate different strategies that may be implemented during an ASF emergency response. The model is one tool that can be used to investigate some of the questions that have been discussed during the ASF exercise series to inform decisions at the Federal, State, and industry levels, such as aspects of surveillance, movement control, and depopulation strategies.
This webinar centered on the global African Swine Fever situation and the critical biosecurity and hygiene concerns in depopulation and disposal, and truck sanitation management.
Anthony (Tony) Pearson was the speaker for this webinar. Tony is an engineer, and head of technical marketing for biosecurity and hygiene with Antec International Ltd, part of the Lanzess Group. Tony has held global roles for the business under DuPont, Chemours and now Lanxess, supporting animal production across many markets and regions while leading Lanxess guides in Emergency Disease Control. In this role Tony is working with regional governing bodies across many markets, such as China, South Korea, Japan, Colombia, Poland, Germany, Thailand etc. as challenges arise.
This webinar began with a discussion of lessons learned from past outbreaks presented by Mike Starkey of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Lori Miller of USDA then presented an overview of depopulation, disposal, and decontamination considerations and tools related to African swine fever. Dr. Mike Neault of North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer services wrapped up the webinar with a presentation regarding activities that have occurred, our readiness at present, and what still needs to be accomplished.
In this webinar, we discussed how to connect with animal owners and help them cope with grief and loss during euthanasia and depopulation events.
The human element is a significant concern in emergency response because depopulation/euthanasia can exert long-lasting emotional and financial costs on animal caregivers and owners. During times of high stress and emotions, owners value an animal health professional who is knowledgeable, competent, AND relatable—listens to them, acknowledges their insight, is flexible, and compassionate (demonstrates empathy).
This webinar began with a case study of the human dimensions of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the United Kingdom from Dr. Doris Olander, DVM USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, who was involved in the response. Dr. Oleander's case study was followed by brief presentations from three other panel members on techniques for helping owners cope with grief and loss. The webinar ended with a Question and Answer session with the panel members.
John Welsch and Pamela Phillips presented this webinar. John discussed some of the history of the screwworm program, including the people who came up with the new ideas, conducted the science to prove the theories, and implemented the results to make the Screwworm Eradication Program successful. The sterile insect technique, mass rearing, surveillance and dispersal were also included. Pamela discussed the use of remote sensing to classify screwworm habitats in order to specifically direct field activities, such as trapping and sterile fly release. Additionally, Pamela discussed how the techniques and protocols that she developed are used to direct dispersal of sterile flies aerially over large areas, and the placement of ground release sites in specific areas due to local ecological, geographical, and meteorological conditions.
Purpose/Objective: This webinar concentrated on trends of national contingency planning across the world, what elements are required for sufficient preparation, and what further improves animal disease preparedness globally. In 2018, a report was written on existing global animal disease contingency plans. Of the 181 World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) member countries, 163 were reported to have some form of a national contingency plan. Provided in this presentation was a review of current global animal emergency preparedness and a discussion of existing structural and funding gaps that were identified to exist. Future global trends were discussed with mention of developing concepts and novel approaches that may aid improvements in global national contingency planning and global capacity to prepare for animal disease when such gaps exist. This presentation was particularly timely due to the threat of African swine fever and it may be helpful for USDA personnel to develop a global view of animal disease preparedness plans as well as understanding structural and financial weaknesses that exist globally.
Dr. Pam Zaabel, Veterinary Specialist with the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa's State University College of Veterinary Medicine provided a refresher on the Secure Pork Supply and how it fits in to an African swine fever response. This 30-minute webinar provided an overview of the resources available, including a discussion on biosecurity, traceability, and surveillance.
Numerous VS and state animal disease incident hot washes and after action reports (AARs) have documented that our responders need more and better information to accurately "Size Up" incidents to better define organizational structure and resource requirements. Along with these requirements and to provide information to support command and administrator decisions, a clear need for tools to provide this information has been identified. Traditional Emergency Management, Wildland Fire and Structural Fire Responders use a suite of "Complexity Analysis and Risk Assessment" Tools for this purpose. The provided examples were used in the development of the Colorado Department of Agriculture's (CDA) Foreign Animal Disease Complexity Analysis Tool, the CDA Consequence Complexity Analysis.
This webinar presented information on the use and development of Complexity analysis tools from several perspectives, as well as demonstrated the "CDA Consequence Complexity Analysis".
We had a great group who discussed the history, development, and use of Complexity Analysis tools, including Mr. Darrel Schwilling, USFS Type 1 IMT PSC and Atlanta National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) PSC, Dr.'s Nick Striegel and Maggie Baldwin, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), Regional Field Manager Mr. Chuck Vale, Regional Field Manager for DHSEM., and Dr. Leslie Cole, PSC USDA NIMT.
Toward continued readiness for African Swine Fever (ASF) response, the APHIS VS Training and Exercise Program coordinated a panel discussion on ASF Communications and Messaging. The webinar showcased messaging efforts of the stakeholders and their perspectives regarding communication and coordination during and ASF outbreak. The panel included Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr., Oklahoma Pork Council, Cindy Cunningham, National Pork Board Communications, Heather Overton, NC Department of Agriculture Public Information, and ED Curlett, Public Affairs, APHIS USDA.
The webinar will address issues related to the USDA issuing a National Movement Standstill request and the conditions under which it would be lifted or extended. In addition, this webinar will allow states that have conducted standstill-related response/planning/exercising to identify critical issues dealing with how to implement a standstill, how to engage state support agencies and industry, and they will present case studies from actual responses or exercises.
This webinar centered around the global African Swine Fever situation (ASF) and the critical biosecurity and hygiene concerns in prevention, mitigation, and control of ASF.
Anthony (Tony) Pearson was the speaker for this webinar. Tony is an engineer, and head of technical marketing for biosecurity and hygiene with Antec International Ltd, part of the Lanxess Group. Tony has held global roles for the business under DuPont, Chemours and now Lanxess, supporting animal production across many markets and regions while leading Lanxess guides in Emergency Disease Control. In this role, Tony works with regional governing bodies across many markets, such as China, South Korea, Japan, Colombia, Poland, Germany, Thailand etc. as challenges arise.
David Hogg, Kansas Emergency Management Coordinator, and Kansas beef producer Brandon Depenbusch provided insight on operationalizing the Secure Beef Supply (SBS) Plan within their state. The Secure Beef Supply Plan for Continuity of Business provides opportunities to better position premises with beef cattle, that have no evidence of foot and mouth disease (FMD) infection, to maintain business continuity for the beef industry, including producers, haulers, and packers, during an FMD outbreak. The webinar provided an overview of the process for generating interest in SBS among producers and other involved parties within Kansas, gaps and challenges faced related to SBS, and past and potential solutions to these challenges. The presenters discussed how the Kansas Department of Agriculture has approached enrolling participants into the SBS Plan, the process for capturing information, and preparations for and considerations related to permitted movements of live cattle during an FMD outbreak.
Dr. Pam Zaabel, Veterinary Specialist with the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa's State University College of Veterinary Medicine, discussed biosecurity measures for producers in the event of an African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in the United States. Biosecurity information included within the Secure Pork Supply (SPS) Plan was discussed, such as creating a premises map and writing a site-specific biosecurity plan. Available resources and training materials that can be used to implement enhanced biosecurity on an operation were discussed as well.
Dr. Jim Roth, Director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, provided information on guidelines for classification of phases and types of an African Swine Fever (AFS) outbreak and response. These guidelines may be used as an aid for rapid decision making to facilitate response planning and development of business continuity plans in the event of an ASF outbreak in the United States. The webinar reviewed the goals for response to an ASF outbreak, important facts to consider in planning for the response to an ASF outbreak in the United States, and the proposed phases and types of ASF outbreaks.
Dr. Charlie Hatcher, Tennessee State Veterinarian, and Tennessee dairy producers Mr. Jonathan Lee and Mr. Steve Cornett, provided insight on operationalizing the Secure Milk Supply (SMS) Plan within their state. The Secure Milk Supply Plan for Continuity of Business provides opportunities to better position dairy premises with cattle that have no evidence of foot and mouth disease (FMD) infection to maintain business continuity for the dairy industry. Including producers, haulers, and processors, during and FMD outbreak. The webinar provided an overview of the process for generating interest in SMS among producers and other involved parties within Tennessee, gaps and challenges faced related to SMS, and past and potential solutions to these challenges. The presenters discussed how the Tennessee Department of Agriculture has approached enrolling participants into the SMS Plan, the process for capturing information, and preparations for and consideration related to permitted movements of raw milk during and FMD outbreak.
Dr. Gregory Mayr, Diagnostic Services Section Senior Diagnostic Advisor at the Plum Island Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory presented on the clinical presentation of African Swine Fever (ASF) and discussed the diagnostic procedures. ASF has been spreading through eastern Europe carried by the feral swine populations from country to country. The most recent outbreak as of October 11, 2018, occurred in Belgium. With ASF diagnosed in China, this causes major concern for China’s pork production systems and for trading partners.
The Animal Plant Health and Inspection Services (APHIS) policy for responders of avian influenza (AI) outbreaks considers that any AI strain is potentially zoonotic. However, neither APHIS policy nor Federal safety and health recommendations provide specific guidance for response activities, worker safety recommendations, and appropriate levels of health monitoring for responders in a higher risk zoonotic avian influenza outbreak. A tabletop exercise was developed for a team of animal health and public health officials to work through issues that arise specific to a higher risk zoonotic AI outbreak response. This webinar served to close gaps in understanding our awareness for the current efforts and actions animal and public health officials plan to take to protect responders in the event of a zoonotic avian influenza outbreak.
Ms. Jan Archer, a pork producer from eastern North Carolina, past president of the National Pork Board and current member of its Board of Directors, was the speaker. This webinar provided an overview of the swine industry and discussed the challenges that pork producers will face in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak. The Secure Pork Supply Plan for business continuity has been developed to give producers the biosecurity, disease surveillance and movement permit guidance that will be needed to continue moving animals and animal products during an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever or African swine fever. Learn more about pork production and the challenges for the swine industry, including producers, haulers and packers of maintaining movements of animals that have no evidence of infection during these disease outbreaks.
The purpose of this webinar was to provide an overview of Heartwater etiology and ecology to all participants in preparation for a Tabletop Exercise in Puerto Rico. Heartwater is an often fatal tick-borne disease (high morbidity, high mortality) foreign to the U.S. that is caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia ruminantium, which is transmitted by the invasive tropical bont tick, Amblyomma variegatum. The emergence of Heartwater and the tropical bont tick in the U.S. would be of high-consequence to the national livestock population. Heartwater affects cattle, sheep, goats, and some wild ruminants. This disease threatens the U.S. livestock industry because it is endemic in a few Caribbean islands, and the presence of other Amblyomma ticks in North America that can be competent vectors for E. ruminantium. Several subject matter experts across the USDA provided this presentation
The purpose of this webinar is to familiarize personnel with the procedures for ordering personnel and vaccine resources during an emergency response. Dr. Fred Bourgeois described the procedure for ordering APHIS and non-APHIS personnel positions in the Emergency Management Response System (EMRS) via an Incident Command System 213 Resource Request (ICS 213RR). Dr. Bourgeois also described when the Statement of Work must be submitted to the National Veterinary Stockpile. Dr. Jonathan Zack discussed the requirements for the Emergency Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Vaccine Authorization and Plan for Vaccination Campaign. Dr. Bourgeois then demonstrated how to complete FMD vaccine ordering in EMRS.
Lisa Quiroz, Emergency Program Manager with the California Department of Food and Agriculture delivered training on the Incident Command System Planning Cycle. This is the third and final webinar on this topic. The course focused on the implementation of the Planning P for animal agriculture incidents, to include:
Prerequisites for this training recommended that participants successfully complete the ICS 100 and 200 courses, which can be found on the FEMA website at:
Lia Quiroz, Emergency Program Manager with the California Department of Food and Agriculture delivered this training on the Incident Command System Planning Cycle. This was the second webinar of three on this topic. The course focused on the implementation of the Planning P for animal agriculture incidents and included:
Prerequisites for this training recommended that participants successfully complete the ICS 100 and 200 courses, which can be found on the FEMA website at:
The purpose of this webinar was to share fundamental financial processes and allowances during an emergency response activity. The topics included key components to indemnity and compensation processes, federal emergency funding requirements, and supplemental cooperative agreement allowances. This webinar also touched briefly on federal contracting restrictions. This webinar was geared towards VS IMT personnel, APHIS ICG members, State personnel counterparts, and other interested individuals.
Patricia Donohue-Galvin presented on Indemnity and Compensation, Carol Tuszynski presented on Federal Emergency Funding, and Joyce Nolte on Supplemental Cooperative Agreements.
The purpose of this webinar is to familiarize personnel with the procedures for ordering National Veterinary Stockpile (NVS) Supplies and Equipment during an emergency response. Ms. Lisa Brown described the procedure for ordering NVS Countermeasures and supplies using the NVS Resource Request form (ICS 213 RR) and the Statement of Work for ordering depopulation, disposal, and decontamination Response Support Services. Dr. Fred Bourgeois demonstrated how to order equipment and supplies using the Emergency Management Response System.
Ed Curlett, Director of Public Affairs and Joelle Hayden, Public Affairs Specialist provided Agriculture Resource Management and Response Exercise participants with information about how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will approach public communications during a foreign disease outbreak, with a goal of ensuring consistent messaging across the involved agencies. This webinar covers the policies for announcing disease detections – both initial detections in a given State and subsequent detections. Also covered was the structure of USDA’s Joint Information Center (JIC) and how to work with USDA’s JIC.
Lisa Quiroz, Emergency Program Manager with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) delivered training on the Incident Command System (ICS) Planning Cycle. The webinar focuses on the implementation of the Planning P for animal agriculture incidents, including:
Drs. Burrell and Rozensher, Veterinary Medical Officers with Veterinary Services presented information about the Niche Stakeholder Working Group (NSWG). The NSWG is a group tasked with reaching out to niche stakeholders, with whom APHIS has not traditionally been closely involved with in the past, and working with them on biosecurity, animal disease control, and other APHIS concerns. Some examples of these niche producers include, but are far from limited to: pastured poultry producers, pastured pork, alternative fiber-producing species, and heritage livestock breeders. This webinar served as an introduction to the NSWG and outlined the work they’ve done in Fiscal Year 2017, as well as the work they have planned in the future with the help of APHIS across the country.
This webinar is intended to provide an overview of mass carcass management considerations during an animal disease outbreak response. It will cover the major high-capacity disposal options; advantages, disadvantages and costs of the various options; and it will introduce participants to a recently-published Desk Reference Guide to assist planners and responders.
Veterinary Services’ Royce Wilson, Nicki Humphrey, Sherry Healey and Kimberly Gish shared information about the positions of Case Manager, Site Manager, and Field Reimbursement Specialist, as well as the pivotal role they played during the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza response. The job responsibilities associated with these positions are often misunderstood, as are their reporting structure. This webinar helps to define the positions’ job descriptions and their chain of command during an animal disease response.
Dr. Charlie Hatcher, State Veterinarian for Tennessee, presented a webinar about the 2017 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in Tennessee and Carcass Management Lessons Learned for the first in a series of calls for state agricultural and environmental officials responsible for carcass management during animal disease outbreak emergency response. The purpose of the series is to provide a forum for education and discussion on carcass management and related topics such as depopulation and decontamination.
Dr. Fred Bourgeois, the Emergency Management Response System (EMRS) Coordinator for Veterinary Services, National Preparedness and Incident Coordination reviews the information generally required for a movement permit and describes the process for issuing permits, using past outbreaks as an example. The webinar also covers the status of permitting functions, as well as lessons learned from the application of this system during recent highly pathogenic avian influenza responses.
California has been an integral partner in the development of the national Secure Food Supply (SFS) Plans. California has taken a unified approach to the SFS and has created a single SFS program that includes all commodities. Key components of the SFS planning effort are providing guidance to the industries, developing auditing and permitting procedures, and testing the program. This webinar is targeted at animal agriculture regulatory personnel who are responsible for developing biosecurity plans and conducting biosecurity audits. The webinar presents the California SFS Program, its progress, and the future.
Dr. Franklyn Garry, Extension Veterinarian with Colorado State University, provides an overview of characteristics and historical changes in the dairy industry that are important to understanding features of the Secure Milk Supply Plan.
A few years ago, a memo was circulated through Veterinary Services requiring Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosticians (FADDs) to complete one continuing education “event” each year. Events can range from participating in a training course to attending a work conference covering some significant aspect of foreign animal disease preparedness and response. The purpose of the webinar is to review the continuing education opportunities available to FADDs, including new online field investigation scenarios and drill exercise materials.
During the 2014-2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in the Midwest a gap in rapid depopulation of large egg laying facilities was identified. The delay in accomplishing depopulation of these large complexes in a timely manner could have increased the spread and duration of the HPAI outbreak response. Whole-barn carbon dioxide (CO2) gassing is a method for humanely depopulating many birds in a large confined space very quickly. Whole-barn CO2 administration in an emergency situation can be safe for personnel, avoids undue suffering of the birds, can contain the disease, and can be compatible with operational and logistical constraints of coordinated planning and early activation. To address the identified gap, the APHIS VS National Veterinary Stockpile Logistics Section contracted Praxair, Inc. to fabricate and assemble whole house gassing units for emergency deployment. This webinar explains the Whole House Gassing with CO2 protocol for various poultry production systems as well as best practices of deploying the Whole House Gassing with CO2 NVS capability.
Dr. Ken Takeshita of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) provided useful biosecurity tips for confined poultry operations. Dr. Takeshita referenced multiple publications and elements of CDFA’s Biosecurity Self-Assessment. He also incorporated his knowledge and perspective from 25 years of experience as a Poultry Veterinarian. Recommended biosecurity management practices for confined poultry operations were presented and discussed.
Mike Starkey, Emergency Response Director with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture presented the plans, policies, and procedures associated with a foreign animal disease (FAD) response. The webinar was designed to provide general information to individuals unfamiliar with the dynamic nature of an FAD response and the potential impact of an outbreak to local, regional or national economies. The webinar reviewed the process for identifying an FAD, the general approach to an FAD response; and highlighted the differences between an FAD response and an all-hazards response.
Dr. Brian Archer, Emergency Management Response System (EMRS) Staff Specialist introduced EMRS2Go. EMRS2Go is a new application that can be downloaded to a user’s laptop or tablet to capture and upload information associated with field investigations. Dr. Archer discussed the application and how users’ capture information off-line while conducting foreign animal disease investigations, backyard surveillance activities, and more. The application contains additional useful features such as the ability to complete forms from records, as well as the ability to add additional files for automatic upload into EMRS.
Andy Titsworth, Logistics Management Specialist with Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response for Veterinary Services provided a brief description of the National Veterinary Stockpile (NVS), its history, mission, and goals. Andy also provided an overview of the Stockpile’s equipment, capabilities and the process for activating the NVS during a response. Also discussed was the status of State NVS plans and some suggested logistics planning considerations.
Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle, Associate Director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University presented a webinar reviewing enhanced livestock biosecurity for foreign animal diseases, with a special focus on foot and mouth disease (FMD). The webinar reviewed enhanced biosecurity recommendations which are based on the known exposure routes for FMD. Concepts include designating a Biosecurity Manager, writing an operation-specific enhanced biosecurity plan, and implementing a line of separation and perimeter buffer area. The checklist, manual and templates for Secure Milk, Secure Beef, and Secure Pork Supply Plans were discussed.
Dr. Julie Gauthier, editor-in-chief of FAD Eye, introduced webinar participants to the FAD Eye blog site and email digest, which is available to Federal and State personnel who are interested in animal disease investigations and response. FAD Eye is a blog website and email digest for personnel who investigate, manage, or respond to animal disease outbreaks.
Eric Hess, Vice President and Director of Homeland Security at SES, Inc. presented a webinar on the Veterinary Services Training and Exercise, Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician (FADD) drills. The National Training and Exercise Program (NTEP) developed and manages a series of FADD drills to support the continued training and education of FADDs. Eric provided information on the objectives of the FADD drills that have been developed as part of the NTEP.
Lori Miller, Senior Staff Officer/Environmental Engineer for Veterinary Services’ Office of Interagency Coordination provided a demonstration on the “Train to Contain” course. “Train to Contain” is a 3D interactive, scenario-based, immersive learning course designed to train potential first responders in the basics of biosecurity principles and best practices. The objective of the course is to complete an assignment by gathering biological samples from an infected poultry flock while observing the principles and best practices of biosecurity.
Dr. Joanna Davis, Veterinarian for Veterinary Services’ Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response Services presented an overview of the Florida New World screwworm response. Information provided included facts about the New World screwworm fly, a history of infestations in the United States, transmission, clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment recommendations, prevention and control measures, and how USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and other agencies are coordinating response efforts.
Drs. Cowen and Porter-Spalding shared information about the Veterinary Services National Training and Exercise Plan (NTEP). The NTEP is a Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program guided process that translates Veterinary Services preparedness strategies, goals, and priorities into a series of multi-year and multi-organizational trainings and exercises. Drs. Cowen and Porter-Spalding discussed Fiscal Year 2017 priorities and opportunities.
Dr. Fred Bourgeois, the EMRS Coordinator for Veterinary Services, National Preparedness and Incident Coordination, explained how information requirements for permitting under the Secure Food Supply Plans can be managed through the EMRS Permit Gateway. Dr. Bourgeois also discussed EMRS permit functionality which offers a common platform across state lines and is available as a service to our state and industry partners.
Dr. Pam Zaabel, Veterinary Specialist with the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University presented a webinar on the Secure Pork Supply (SPS) Plan. The webinar reviewed the components of the SPS Plan, described some of the challenges unique to the pork industry, and discussed the resources available for producers, packers, and animal health officials managing the outbreak. The goal of the SPS Plan is to provide guidelines for pork producers, transporters, and meat packers/processors to minimize disease spread during a foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever, or African swine fever outbreak while ensuring a continuous, safe, and wholesome supply of pork for consumers
Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle, Associate Director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University presented a webinar on the Secure Beef Supply (SBS) Plan. The webinar reviewed the components of the SBS Plan, described some of the challenges unique to the beef industry, and discussed the resources available for producers, packers, and animal health officials managing the outbreak. The goal of the SBS Plan is to provide guidelines for beef producers, transporters, and meat packers/processors to minimize disease spread during a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak while ensuring a continuous, safe, and wholesome supply of beef for consumers.
Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle, Associate Director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, presented a webinar on the Secure Milk Supply (SMS) Plan. The webinar reviewed the components of the SMS Plan and reviewed the many training and decision tools available for producers, haulers, processors, and animal health officials managing the outbreak. The goal of the SMS Plan is to provide guidelines for dairy producers, transporters, and processors to minimize disease spread during a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak while ensuring a continuous, safe, and wholesome supply of milk products for consumers.
Dr. Carol Cardona, Pomeroy Chair in Avian Health, describes the collaborative work of the University of Minnesota and poultry industry stakeholders to develop disease control and continuity of business plans for the U.S. poultry industry. A Secure Poultry Supply Plan is evolving from the Secure Egg Supply, Secure Turkey Supply, and Secure Broiler Supply Plans, which have progressed as the result of lessons learned in responding to and recovering from recent U.S. highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks.
Dr. Jim Roth, Director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, provides an overview of the Secure Food Supply Plans and discusses revisions to the plans based on the recent U.S. experience with highly pathogenic avian influenza. The webinar also reviews foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever, and African swine fever – all of which are high-consequence foreign animal diseases around which the Secure Food Supply Plans have been built to mitigate business disruption.
The National Training and Exercise Program (NTEP) has grown since 2013 when Veterinary Services co-leads Drs. Cowen and Myers began the project. They provide an update on the NTEP organization, priorities, and objectives as well as the training and exercise events that Veterinary Services and external stakeholders are planning. The NTEP provides a national forum and methodical process for a three year planning cycle to ensure that emergency animal disease outbreak responders are prepared and well-trained.