two planned successor phases of this study can potentially better address this issue following examination of the other aspects of the animal health framework.
Regardless of how a central coordinating mechanism or focal point is implemented, it will need to promote effective communication among various stakeholders and with the public during and outside times of animal disease outbreaks. Opportunities for information sharing between agencies using electronic information systems should be developed. A methodical effort should be made to identify and link key databases and establish protocols for contributing data and for creating alerts. For example, subject matter experts in government, industry, and academia will sometimes need access to information gathered by the intelligence community. In addition, public-private partnerships are important in long-term strategic planning. The private sector will always be the beneficiary of effective animal disease prevention, detection, and diagnostic programs, but much of the success will depend on the level of private sector leadership, involvement, and investment.
While the framework will promote effective communication and collaboration among different stakeholders, it will also need to ensure that those on the front lines of disease prevention and detection at the local level (e.g., field personnel and wildlife management) are fully integrated into the system of animal health communication and of disease prevention and detection. As was demonstrated during the exotic Newcastle disease outbreak, private industry, local and regional resources, and a willingness to capitalize on expertise located outside the centralized federal animal health system allowed a cost-effective and reliable assay to be rapidly developed, validated, and implemented for disease detection and control. Another specific example of broad-based local community involvement in animal disease prevention and detection is described in Box 5-1.
Recommendation 2: Agencies and institutions—including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—responsible for protecting animal industries, wildlife, and associated economies should encourage and support rapid development, validation, and adoption of new technologies and scientific tools for the prevention, detection, and diagnosis of animal diseases and zoonoses.
The current animal health framework has been slow to evaluate, validate, and implement new scientific tools and technologies that could sig-