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.
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.