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.
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.”