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.
Swine Brucellosis Alternative Surveillance – Protecting Human and Animal Health (May 27, 2021)
Dr. Leslie Seraphin, District Epidemiology Officer, USDA, APHIS, VS District One was the speaker for this webinar. In 2016, a human infected with Brucella suis served as a sentinel of a multistate outbreak of swine brucellosis. The index herd had likely been infected for over twelve years. This presentation covered the impact of social changes on surveillance and the importance of periodic reviews of surveillance methods. This presentation covered topics including optimal implementation of Swine Brucellosis Alternative Surveillance (SBAS) in a state, including finding niche herds and niche slaughter plants, alternative streams of surveillance, slaughter catchment range for small herds, training very small and niche slaughter plants to participate in SBAS, and the necessity of periodic review of surveillance methods and implementation. Additional resources for education on biosecurity and swine brucellosis for producers of niche swine was provided as well.
Livestock Mortality Management in Chemical or Radiological Incidents (May 20, 2021)
Dr. Kevin Dennison, USDA, Animal Care and US Government Advisory Team on Environment, Food and Health (Radiological) was the speaker for this webinar.
Chemical or radiological incidents involving livestock can produce some extremely challenging technical and emergency coordination challenges. Unlike animal disease emergencies, APHIS and State Animal Health Officials will generally be working under the authority of the lead Federal and State agencies. This presentation addressed working in an incident with complex One-Health issues involving public, animal and environmental health concerns and give insight to operational strategies for these complex incidents.
This webinar explored the roles of state diagnostic laboratories, that are part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHN); and the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) during a foreign animal disease investigation (FADI) and during a stable outbreak response. Special focus applied to coordination between the field and laboratories during a FADI, including determining the types of samples necessary and sample delivery. The delivery of sample results, and the methods used, as appropriate to the stage of a response, were discussed. This webinar also addressed the laboratory role in daily incident planning, as well as future planning. Dr. John Bare, Associate Coordinator, National Animal Health Laboratory Network and Dr. Robin Holland, Diagnostic Services Section at FADDL were the speakers.
Lumpy Skin Disease Update (April 1, 2021)
Dr. Rich French was the speaker for this webinar. Dr. French reviewed Lumpy Skin Disease relative to its etiology, pathogenesis, clinical and gross pathology. There was a discussion of the global spread and underlying causes, control measures and impact in the past five years. The updates from boots-on-the-ground professionals in Asia were also discussed.
Mi-Co Form Training on Active ASF/CSF Tissue Sample Submission Process (March 31, 2021)
This webinar was an introduction of the new Mi-Co form for active ASF/CSF tissue sample submissions in swine. This webinar showcased a live demonstration that walked users through how to complete the Mi-Co form. It also provided an overview of business rules for the form and points of contacts when users encounter issues. Nicki Humphrey, Veterinarian with Swine Staff ASEP and Jacob Pell, Biological Science Information Specialist – Data Scientist with Center for Informatics were the speakers for this webinar.
United Kingdom's Preparedness & Delivery Model for a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreak (March 29, 2021)
This webinar discusses the UK's preparedness & delivery model for a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreak. The speakers gave an overview of the UK's strategy on managing an outbreak to bring the country back to a disease-free status as quickly as possible, and discussed the impact on industry. Matthew Price, Head of Outbreak Planning for APHA, presented the UK Government's response. Gordon Samet, Commercial Director for Livetec Systems, presented the role and requirements of a service provider to Government. Andrew Ballantyne, Head of Turkey Operations for the Hook 2 sister and PD Hook group, gave an insight of how his business was affected.
Carbon Material Acquisition and Use in Large Scale Windrow Composting for North Carolina Animal Agriculture Emergency Response (March 25, 2021)
Joe Hudyncia and Robert Ross from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) were the speakers for this webinar. Windrow composting of mass animal mortalities is becoming widely adopted by state and federal animal agriculture emergency response agencies in the U.S. Recently, NCDA&CS has adapted windrow composting disposal of poultry mortality resulting from flooding impacts of two major hurricanes, Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Hurricane Florence (2018), where large numbers of poultry were impacted. In 2020 NCDA & CS and USDA/APHIS also utilized in-house windrow composting on all eleven poultry farms impacted by the NC LPAI 2020 event. Based on lessons learned, NCDA&CS has established a Carbon Task Force with ongoing efforts to identify wood products processors and handlers in all geographies of the state, with emphasis on regions with the highest concentration of poultry and swine farms. This webinar presented successes, challenges, and opportunities of identifying and securing carbon materials for animal agriculture emergency disposal response.
Overview of the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply (SSWS) Plan (March 2, 2021)
This webinar reviewed the guidance in the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply (SSWS) Plan for Continuity of Business during a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak for producers, packers, processors, states, and federal animal health officials. Dr. Bickett-Weddle described the aspects that are consistent with other Secure Food Supply Plans and highlight the unique aspects given the lack of clinical signs in sheep, achieving enhanced biosecurity in certain management situations, and wool handling recommendations. The American Sheep Industry (ASI) Association funded the creation of SSWS in 2020. USDA and ASI are funding the development of outreach resources in 2021, which will also be previewed. Visit www.securesheepwool.org for available resources. Elsevier Publishing is allowing a free download through March 24, 2021 of the SSWS Plan article the Iowa State University veterinarians wrote for their Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal text at: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1cWD62gKRhhcGR
Decontamination and Disposal Capability Gaps (February 2, 2021)
Ms. Lori P. Miller, Senior Staff Officer/Environmental Engineer for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Office of Interagency Coordination was the speaker for the webinar. She has spent the past 15 years focusing on planning and preparedness for animal disease outbreak response, specifically in the areas of carcass management and biosecurity.
During this webinar Ms. Miller shared an overview of decontamination and disposal capability gaps, the status of projects currently underway, and priorities for the future.
APHIS Wildlife Services National Feral Swine Program (NFSP) January 28, 2021
Dr. Vienna Brown was the speaker for this webinar. The overarching goal of the APHIS Wildlife Services National Feral Swine Program (NFSP) is to reduce damage caused by feral swine. As a part of these efforts, the NFSP is heavily involved in monitoring endemic diseases in feral swine and surveilling for evidence of foreign animal disease incursion. The Disease Component of the NFSP works in close partnership with Wildlife Services operations, State Agencies, the National Wildlife Disease Program, and Veterinary Services to interpret national surveillance results and identify targeted projects that need attention. This webinar was designed to provide a synopsis of all aspects of the Disease Component of the NFSP, including results of national surveillance efforts, summarization of ongoing targeted projects, and an overview of foreign animal disease preparedness and response planning efforts.
Meat Packers Exercise Webinar Series (Part 4): NPIC (December 14, 2020)
Dr. Gabriel Eddings and Dr. Parrish Kline from FSIS presented a general overview of the Agency's regulatory authority within federally inspected establishments. This presentation also included the regulations and guidance FSIS veterinarians and inspectors in the official establishments follow for inspection, both ante-mortem and post-mortem, and when a foreign animal disease is suspected by the FSIS veterinarian.
Dr. Linda Benjamin from the FDA presented a brief overview of Animal Food Regulations and African Swine Fever.
Dr. Jon Zack, Director of National Preparedness and Incident Coordination (NPIC), presented on the severe immediate consequences for the swine industry, including swine harvesting establishments, and what an outbreak of ASF in domestic or feral swine in the United States will have. There will be significant emergency response challenges for all responding parties, including private sector companies, State Animal Health Officials and USDA. This presentation addressed the current known implications as well as identify gaps in current ASF preparedness with emphasis on harvesting establishments.
End Use of Carcass Compost from Catastrophic and Foreign Animal Disease Events (December 10, 2020)
Extension Professor Mark Hutchinson was the speaker for this webinar. The compost process is a widely accepted practice to manage carcasses during catastrophic and foreign animal disease (FAD) events. Carcass compost is an environmentally and economically sustainable practice that produces a usable end product. Carcass composting is intended to inactivate the disease, which means it does not always produce an aesthetically pleasing end product. It is important to learn what the value of this product is and how it may be utilized in agronomic systems. However, little thought is given to the use of the end product, compost during the plan process.
This webinar focused on two questions: 1. What needs to be planned prior to a compost event for the use of the end product? and 2. What are the opportunities and challenges with the use of compost in agronomic systems? This program provided a template for field staff to develop a compost use plan both pre and post events. Mark has been involved in developing and implementing compost carcass management systems for over 16 years as part of the Maine Compost team and University of Maine. He is recognized as USDA Compost SME and has been deployed on numerous FAD and natural disaster events.
Meat Packers Exercise Webinar Series (Part 1): NAMI (November 30, 2020)
This webinar included a detailed description of pigs moving through the packing process, from entering lairage through processing and final delivery as finished food products or bulk product for off-site processing. As part of this, key nodes in the system were identified. Throughout this presentation, challenges with biosecurity, and cleaning and disinfection (either day-to-day or during an emergency) were discussed. This presentation addressed where FSIS authority starts and ends in the process flow. A description of the standard cleaning and disinfection practices; at different parts of the process was given. Additionally discussions on why rendering is critical to packing operations, and how by-products are handled and what they are used for were also held.
Meat Packers Exercise Webinar Series (Part 2): NARA
This webinar covered a detailed description of what products enter rendering from a packing plant and how they move through the plant, either with on-site rendering or offsite rendering. Key nodes in the system were identified. Throughout this presentation, challenges with biosecurity, and cleaning and disinfection (either day-to-day or during an emergency) were discussed. A description of hazard analyses and preventive controls required for all animal food ingredients by the Food Safety Modernization Act regulated by FDA were discussed as well. A discussion of vulnerabilities, natural or manmade, to rendering (either on-site or off-site) was given. As well as a discussion of the types of rendered products, including blood products, and their uses.
Meat Packers Exercise Webinar Series (Part 3): Communications During an ASF Outbreak (December 8, 2020)
This webinar was presented from three distinct standpoints: federal, state and industry. The federal presentation discussed communications content, coordination, and timelines associated with a presumptive positive ASF determination, through confirmation of ASF. The state perspective discussed intrastate communications content, coordination, and timelines; as well as how it develops trusted relationships with impacted industries to allow early release of outbreak information, while assuring this information will not be prematurely released to the public. The industry portion of the webinar discussed communications objectives, content, and coordinating industry messaging. In addition, research on the potential impact of and ASF outbreak on consumer confidence, as well as how to communicate with the public during an outbreak, was presented.
Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico's ecology and agriculture in 2017, VS in Puerto Rico conducted a pilot project to identify the prevalence of specific tick species and pathogens of agricultural and public health interest. In an effort to quantify the effect of the ecological damage on the distribution of tick vectors and the pathogens they carry, the group collected ticks from livestock (equines and ruminants) from four geographically diverse locations around the island. The results confirmed the presence of several diseases already known to exist in Puerto Rico, but two of those diseases were found to have a significantly different prevalence than what had previously been published. This presentation summarized the methods and results of this project, with an emphasis on discussing the value of using ticks for pathogen sampling and how the results of this project might be used to better inform disease control and eradication efforts in Puerto Rico.
Epidemiology 101 (Part 1): Introduction to Epidemiology for Non-Epidemiologists (November 23, 2020)
Dr. Keren Rozensher and Dr. Andrew Hennefent were the speakers for this webinar. Quickly identifying cases and the exposures that led to their infection are essential to rapid detection of disease outbreaks. In the realm of animal health this is accomplished through conducting trace-in and trace-out investigations, national surveillance programs, and even one-on-one stakeholder interviews. Join the NTEP Epi Trainings workgroup, Event 2.2.43, for the first in a series of epidemiology-related trainings. This 101 course was meant to introduce all field personnel (VMOs, AHTs, State colleagues, etc.) to basic epidemiological terms and principles to prepare them to achieve success in the field. The information in this training was translatable to routine fieldwork, foreign animal disease investigations, and animal disease emergency responses on a national level. The target audience was anyone who works in the field or who may be deployed to the field during a foreign animal disease outbreak response.
Overview of African Horse Sickness (November 20, 2020)
African horse sickness (AHS) is an arboviral disease of horses that has historically been maintained on the African content. Recent detections and spread in Asia demonstrate the concern regarding expanding occurrence of arboviruses beyond their typical borders. AHS is a disease with very high morbidity and mortality rates in infected horses and can have devastating effects for the owners, industry, and international trade. This webinar gave an overview of the history, epidemiology, vectors, and biology of this OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) - listed Foreign Animal Disease. Other topics included clinical signs, diagnostics, and preventative measures.
Overview of Foot and Mouth Disease Webinar (November 19, 2020)
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is one of the most contagious transboundary animal diseases (TADs). Although the U.S. is free of the disease, FMD is still widespread throughout the world. It still occurs in large parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia and the countries that are free of FMD today remain under constant threat of an incursion because this disease can severely affect the indeed disrupt regional and international trade in animals and animal products. In fact, it is notorious for the enormous financial damage that this fast-moving infection can cause in FMD-free countries hit by an outbreak. Being able to recognize the disease at the very beginning and having in place epidemio-surveillance capacities is essential to rapidly stand up control strategies in case of an outbreak. This webinar included detail description of the disease clinical presentation in different affected species, virus characteristics, global situation, differential diagnosis, and control strategies.
Evaluation of Above-Ground Burial Decomposition in a Simulated ASF Disease Outbreak (October 14, 2020)
Dr. Keith Bailey, Clinical Associate Professor and Comparative Pathologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine was the speaker for this webinar. The main aims of the study he presented were to evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of above-ground burial for the mass disposal of swine carcasses on a farm. Dr. Bailey also discussed how to evaluate the inactivation of an African swine fever-surrogate virus during the decomposition process.
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2) Overview (October 13, 2020)
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus 2 (RHDV2) hit the United States in 2020. Between pet rabbits in New York to multiple states in the southwest, we've experienced virus spread in many states. This webinar gave an overview of the response to this emerging Foreign Animal Disease, coordination between Veterinary Services and Wildlife Services, and our work with multiple State departments of agriculture and wildlife. Topics included disease response and mitigation, outreach measures, wildlife concerns, laboratory capacity and expansion, and epidemiology of the RHDV2 spread. This webinar also discussed the multiple challenges of regulatory authority over rabbits, OIE reporting, vaccine importation and environmental hardiness of this virus. Dr. Lynn Creekmore (APHIS, VS), Dr. Julie Lenoch (APHIS, VS) and Dr. Tom Gidlewski, APHIS Wildlife Services are the speakers.
Overview of the VS 5-Year Aquaculture Business Plan and an Update on the National Aquaculture Health Plan (October 8, 2020)
This webinar showcases how VS is working to keep up with the rapidly growing and expanding U.S. aquaculture industry sectors. Dr. Kathleen Hartman, S&P Senior Staff Veterinarian - Aquaculture Health, provided an overview on the VS 5-year aquaculture business plan and VS' role in aquaculture. This webinar covered VS' priorities and associated goals and activities for aquaculture and aquatic animal health. This webinar also discussed the Comprehensive Aquaculture Health Program Standards (CAHPS) and how the recent Executive Order 13921, Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth, signed earlier this year, tasked the Secretary of Agriculture to update the 2008 National Aquatic Animal Health Plan (NAAHP). Dr. Hartman shared information on the new plan and specific updates, and highlighted USDA's role as the lead for aquaculture and aquatic animal health.
Aquaculture Overview, Field Investigations, and Aquaculture Trade: The Essentials (October 6, 2020)
The Aquaculture Overview, Field Investigations, and Aquaculture Trade Webinar Series Training is designed to educate Veterinary Services veterinary medical officers (VMOs) and state counterparts in response procedures and actions for aquaculture emergency disease response. During this webinar series, participants will hear an overview of finfish aquaculture, the Commercial Aquaculture Health Program Standards (CAHPS), an overview of shellfish, crustaceans and mollusks and the challenges facing these sectors, international movement, and aquaculture field investigation. This webinar is the fourth in the series out of four total webinars and covered an overview of all the essentials you'll need to know regarding Aquaculture. Tracey Dutcher and Lynn Creekmore were the presenters for this webinar.
Aquaculture Overview, Field Investigations, and Aquaculture Trade: International Movement (October 1, 2020)
The Aquaculture Overview, Field Investigations, and Aquaculture Trade Webinar Series Training was designed to educate Veterinary Services veterinary medical officers (VMOs) and state counterparts in response procedures and actions for aquaculture emergency disease response. During this webinar series, participants heard an overview of finfish aquaculture, the Commercial Aquaculture Health Program Standards (CAHPS), an overview of shellfish, crustaceans and mollusks and the challenges facing these sectors, international movement, and aquaculture field investigation. This webinar is the third in the series out of four total webinars and will cover an overview of international movement. Alicia Marston was the presenter for this webinar.
2020 NC - SC LPAI - HPAI AI Event and Lessons Learned (September 29, 2020)
In March and April of 2020, twelve turkey flocks were diagnosed with H7N3 LPAI (8 meat turkey flocks and one turkey breeder flock in Union county, NC; 1 meat turkey flock and 1 turkey breeder flock in Anson county, NC; and 1 meat turkey flock in Chesterfield county, SC). Subsequently, another meat turkey flock was identified in Chesterfield county, SC with both H7N3 LPAI and H7N3 HPAI isolates identified on the same farm. The outbreak took place as human cases of COVID-19 were rising in the United States, creating additional operational challenges. In this webinar, the collaborative effort between South Carolina, North Carolina, USDA-APHIS, and the poultry industry to stop the H7N3 outbreak was described with an emphasis on lessons learned. The challenges associated with COVID-19 including diagnostic and field supplies, staff safety, ICS operations, and general communications will be discussed.
Aquaculture Overview, Field Investigations, and Aquaculture Trade: Overview of Shellfish, Crustaceans, and Mollusks (September 24, 2020)
The Aquaculture Overview, Field Investigations, and Aquaculture Trade Webinar Series Training is designed to educate Veterinary Services veterinary medical officers (VMOs) and state counterparts in response procedures and actions for aquaculture emergency disease response. During this webinar series, participants will hear an overview of finfish aquaculture, the Commercial Aquaculture Health Program Standards (CAHPS), an overview of shellfish, crustaceans and mollusks and the challenges facing these sectors, international movement, and aquaculture field investigation. This webinar is the second in the series out of four total webinars and will cover an overview of shellfish, crustaceans, and mollusks and the challenges facing these sectors. Lauren Harris and Kathleen Hartman were the presenters for this webinar.
EMRS2Go (September 10, 2020)
Veterinary Services (VS) is responsible for detecting and responding to animal disease incidents that occur within the United States and must cooperatively manage the data related to such outbreaks with our state and tribal partners. The Emergency Management Response System 2.0 (EMRS2) is a web based application used for the reporting of routine investigations of foreign animal diseases (FADs), surveillance and control programs, state specific disease outbreaks, and national animal health emergency responses (all-hazards). Primary users of EMRS2 are Federal, State, and Tribal Veterinary Medical Officers, Animal Health Officials, Animal Health Technicians, Animal Disease Specialists and Epidemiologists.
A field application for EMRS has been developed, EMRS2Go, allowing users of EMRS to quickly and efficiently capture information associated with a foreign animal disease investigation in the field, and to upload the information into EMRS when the user regains internet access. Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosticians will find that using EMRS2Go is an easy and efficient way to report the findings associated with a FAD investigation. In additional to FAD investigative information, EMRS2Go can also be used by the field to upload Case Manager Daily Log 214s, as well as to manage and report findings associated with routine (non-incident related) tasks such as EIA Lab Inspections, ADT inspections, and more. This presentation will discuss and demonstrate how field personnel can use EMRS2Go to perform these tasks, as well as provide information/resources for additional self-training and drill activities.
Aquaculture Overview, Field Investigations, and Aquaculture Trade: Overview of Finfish and CAHPS (September 17, 2020)
The Aquaculture Overview, Field Investigations, and Aquaculture Trade Webinar Series Training is designed to educate Veterinary Services veterinary medical officers (VMOs) and state counterparts in response procedures and actions for aquaculture emergency disease response. During this webinar series, participants will hear an overview of finfish aquaculture, the Commercial Aquaculture Health Program Standards (CAHPS), an overview of shellfish, crustaceans and mollusks and the challenges facing these sectors, international movement, and aquaculture field investigation. This webinar is the first in the series out of four total webinars and will cover an overview of FinFish and CAHPS. Kathleen Hartman was the presenter for this webinar.
Registered Aquaculture Export Facility (RAEF) Inspection Program Part 2 (September 16, 2020)
This is Part 2 of a two part webinar series which covered all the aspects of the updated Registered Aquaculture Export Facility (RAEF) inspection program, including (1) a new Inspection Checklist and county-specific requirements, (2) a new Approval Letter template, (3) a new Master List to track facility approvals, (4) clarified export testing guidance, and (5) clarified premises freedom from disease determination guidance.
Registered Aquaculture Export Facility (RAEF) Inspection Program Part 1 (September 15, 2020)
This is Part 1 of a two part webinar series which covered all the aspects of the updated Registered Aquaculture Export Facility (RAEF) inspection program, including (1) a new Inspection Checklist and county-specific requirements, (2) a new Approval Letter template, (3) a new Master List to track facility approvals, (4) clarified export testing guidance, and (5) clarified premises freedom from disease determination guidance.
Complexity Analysis and Future Planning (September 3, 2020)
This webinar described how complexity analysis and future planning can be used to enhance planning and inform leadership of critical issues in a response, as well as to scale up or scale down a response. In addition, this webinar discussed how the use of complexity analysis and future planning will vary based on its intended application (e.g., SAHO determining if a VS NIMT is needed versus an IC using it to scale an IMT), and where it is applied in the Planning Process. Case studies were presented to show real-world use of complexity analysis and future planning.
African Swine Fever: A Global Update and Approaches to Control (August 25, 2020)
Dr. Richard French presented an overview and global update on African Swine Fever. The content included ongoing efforts in vaccine development and present usage of vaccines in Asia and known outcomes. Dr. French also covered trends and approaches to global control of ASF as the pertain to import/exports, feed, food and related commodities. The webinar wrapped up with a discussion of the challenges of food security while 75% of the worlds pork production is under pressure.
U.S. Disease Detections: International Impacts Related to Exports Work (August 11, 2020)
Intercountry trade is the backbone of our economic and political resources as a country. Trade occurs on a daily basis, with live animals and products leaving and entering the U.S. continuously. Most of this occurs in step-wise fashion conducted by private practitioners, Field Veterinary Medical Officers, Port Veterinarians, Staff Veterinarians, brokers, and numerous other counterparts. But what happens when a disease is detected within the U.S. throwing a wrench into the process? The discovery of a recurrent disease or emerging transboundary disease within a live animal or that can be transmitted by products derived from affected animals can cause major setbacks for producers or even whole industries. They also present the risk of transfer of disease to new geographic locations and pose a threat to public health. This presentation discussed the downstream effects disease has on trade and the steps taken to mitigate loss of trade between countries, and showcased why the work Field and State Veterinarians do is vital to the continuation of trade within the U.S. We broke down disease into two main categories, and viewed their effects through the lenses of Live Animal Exports and Export Products.
Dr. Shanna Siegel, National Director of Live Animal Import and Export for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services and Elizabeth Fazio, Veterinary Student Pathways Intern were the speakers for this webinar.
FAD Training Part 2 (August 6, 2020)
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Professional Development Services Branch had to cancel the normal face-to-face training courses at Plum Island and district level FAD Response Refresher courses.
In order to provide virtual training, PDS scheduled informational webinars for previously trained FADDs as well as new state and federal VMOs who were nominated to attend the FADD course at Plum Island.For the second webinar in this series, Dr. Greg Mayr, Diagnostic Services Section Senior Diagnostic Advisor at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center presented on Classical Swine Fever.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Professional Development Services Branch had to cancel the normal face-to-face training courses at Plum Island and district level FAD Response Refresher courses.
In order to provide virtual training, PDS scheduled informational webinars for previously trained FADDs as well as new state and federal VMOs who were nominated to attend the FADD course at Plum Island.
For the first webinar in this series, Dr. Greg Mayr, Diagnostic Services Section Senior Diagnostic Advisor at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center presented on Sample Submission Guidelines.
Lucia Hunt, acting Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture was the speaker for this webinar.
As reports about meatpacking plant closures filled the news in early 2020, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture decided to support a central carcass disposal site for hog producers who were forced to depopulate their herds. This webinar describes how they financed that project, chose the methods for disposal, and determined siting and site layout requirements. Once established, a carcass composting site needs the right equipment, a steady source of carbon, and a way to schedule deliveries. Then as demand decreases, site closure is the priority. This presentation covered all this plus several of the pitfalls department organizers faced along the way, and solutions for planning the next time central disposal options are needed.
Kate Schumann, a microbiologist at the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory located at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center discussed her Grassroots project. African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a global threat to the stability of pork production and its stakeholders. Preparedness of veterinary diagnostic laboratories to quickly and accurately detect ASFV is of great importance for monitoring and controlling the potential spread of disease during an outbreak. This webinar reviewed the performance characteristics of five commercially available ASFV real-time PCR assays, including analytical sensitivity and inclusivity data.
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.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Professional Development Services Branch had to cancel the normal face-to-face training courses at Plum Island and district level FAD Response Refresher courses. In order to provide virtual training, PDS scheduled informational webinars for previously trained FADDs as well as new state and federal VMOs who were nominated to attend the FADD course at Plum Island. For the first webinar in this series, Dr. Greg Mayr, Diagnostic Services Section Senior Diagnostic Advisor at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center presented on Sample Submission Guidelines.
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.