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Introduction

Recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Europe and Japan set off alarm bells in the United States and other nations, prompting a flurry of new regulations, border controls, inspections, and other activities to prevent incursions of the diseases. The terrorist attacks last fall in New York City and Washington, DC, added a new note of urgency to the alarm. Concerned about additional acts of terror or sabotage in various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, U.S. government and industry officials have begun to reevaluate emergency management plans in response to these threats and to shift the focus of research and planning. More than 200 representatives of government, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations gathered at a one-day workshop in Washington, DC, on January 15, 2002, to assess what the United States is doing about emerging animal diseases and related issues and to explore what still needs to be done. An additional 152 computers tapped into the proceedings via the Internet.

The workshop was organized with an opening keynote address, followed by one or more presentations on each topic, with panel discussions and audience questions interspersed with each presentation session. The workshop summary extracts the key technical issues from the presentations and discussions, rather than presenting each session and panel discussion separately. Many issues were touched upon repeatedly by several speakers in different sessions, and this format is intended to allow readers who did not attend the workshop to have a good understanding of the discussions in the context of the entire workshop.



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1 Introduction Recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Europe and Japan set off alarm bells in the United States and other nations, prompting a flurry of new regulations, border controls, inspections, and other activities to prevent incursions of the diseases. The terrorist attacks last fall in New York City and Washington, DC, added a new note of urgency to the alarm. Concerned about additional acts of terror or sabotage in various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, U.S. government and industry officials have begun to reevaluate emergency management plans in response to these threats and to shift the focus of research and planning. More than 200 representatives of government, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations gathered at a one-day workshop in Washington, DC, on January 15, 2002, to assess what the United States is doing about emerging animal diseases and related issues and to explore what still needs to be done. An additional 152 computers tapped into the proceedings via the Internet. The workshop was organized with an opening keynote address, followed by one or more presentations on each topic, with panel discussions and audience questions interspersed with each presentation session. The workshop summary extracts the key technical issues from the presentations and discussions, rather than presenting each session and panel discussion separately. Many issues were touched upon repeatedly by several speakers in different sessions, and this format is intended to allow readers who did not attend the workshop to have a good understanding of the discussions in the context of the entire workshop. 1

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2 EMERGING ANIMAL DISEASES The objective of the workshop was to illuminate issues, not to resolve them. By its nature, any single workshop is necessarily incomplete, and a workshop summary can report only on what was said. All the information reported in the text emerged from presentations and discussions during the workshop. The summary of the workshop is intended to reflect the variety of opinions expressed by the speakers. All of the contributors have reviewed the document and affirmed that the report accurately reflects the events and discussions at the workshop. WELCOME ADDRESS Concern about animal health has been building for decades and is now at a historic high, particularly in developed countries, Dr. Harley W. Moon of Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine told the gathering. The recognition of the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in farm animals led to increased food safety concern and was followed by a focus on food-borne illness. This issue peaked as the BSE epidemic had international impact in the 1980s and 1990s, and culminated with the 2001 outbreak of FMD in Great Britain. “Then, with the events of last fall, the issue of terrorism changed from a theoretical abstract possibility to a real-time threat. These decades of increasing concern certainly indicate that it is time to look at needs and opportunities to make further progress addressing these issues in animal health.” KEYNOTE ADDRESS Deputy Secretary James R. Moseley of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) underscored the impact of the events of September 11th, saying that it added “a new dimension on work long underway in animal disease.” Animal disease and food safety systems now require consideration of both intentional and accidental incidents, and these issues were raised to the highest priority of both the USDA and the Office of Homeland Security. “The continued safety and integrity of our food and agriculture production systems have now become the highest priority,” said Moseley. The department is now much more alert to the possibility of intentional introduction of animal diseases and threats to the safety of the food supply. USDA is beefing up security at research facilities and laboratories, particularly the federal government’s five biosecurity level-3 labs. This includes more restrictions on access to anthrax and other biologic pathogens and closer scrutiny at ports of entry and food processing plants. Building on the joint U.S. and British efforts to combat the U.K. FMD epidemic last spring and summer that “placed attention on the core infrastructure

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INTRODUCTION 3 of our systems and our programs,” Moseley emphasized international, interagency, and public cooperation in food safety and biosecurity systems. This outbreak also pointed out the importance of animal disease to market stability, and Moseley cited the recent BSE risk assessment (Evaluation of the Potential for BSE in the United States, Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Harvard School of Public Health, November 2001) as an example of a useful tool to explore the potential health and economic impacts of animal diseases. Deputy Secretary Moseley underscored the importance of preparedness and emphasized the need for a rapid, coordinated, and flexible response system, stating, “We have to be able to skate to where the puck will be.” Other key components of an enhanced animal disease control system are monitoring and surveillance, especially at international borders; epidemiology; physical security of researchers and laboratory facilities; control of biohazardous and biologic agents; and primary research on potential animal pathogens. An especially important factor in protecting U.S. agriculture and the U.S. food supply is cooperation of the public and private sector, on a national and international basis. Moseley also called upon the scientific community to continue its creative thinking and research and to build upon the tragic events of the past with new and innovative animal disease control mechanisms. PROGRAM OVERVIEW Dr. Corrie C. Brown of the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine drew from an earlier National Academies’ conference on emerging human diseases, citing some of the same key factors that contribute to the emergence of diseases: movement of animals and people, disruption of the environment, the crossing of species boundaries, and lifestyle or husbandry changes. These changes are “continuing to occur at an ever-increasing rate” and their impacts are intensified when combined with the phenomenon of globalization and international trade, she said. “So, we are going to see more and more emerging diseases. If you put that then into the framework of globalization, … the interconnectedness of all people, economies, and countries, it is estimated that globalization will have a larger impact on society today than the industrial revolution had on society 150 years ago.”