BOX 1-1
Study Overview and Statement of Task for Phase One

A comprehensive review of the U.S. system and approach for dealing with animal diseases will be conducted. This initiative will (1) review, summarize, and evaluate the state and quality of the current system and the potential for improved application of scientific knowledge and tools to address threats and response efforts; (2) identify key opportunities and barriers to successfully preventing and controlling animal diseases as they relate to responsibilities and actions of producers, regulators, policy makers, and animal health care providers; and (3) identify courses of action for first-line responders to integrate strengths of proven strategies with promising approaches to meet animal health and management challenges. The study will be conducted in three phases, which correlate to the three major components of the U.S. structure of defense against animal diseases outlined in previous Board on Agriculture and Natural Resource (BANR) reports. The first phase of study will focus on the nation’s framework for prevention, detection, and diagnosis of animal disease. The second phase will focus on the nation’s system of monitoring and surveillance, and the third phase will focus on mechanisms of response and recovery from an animal disease epidemic. A core group of committee members will be appointed to participate in all phases of the activity to ensure consistency among the different phases, supplemented with additional expertise as needed for each phase.

In its examination, the committee will assess the adequacy of:

  • Scientific preparedness for action “on the ground”

  • Technologic tools and scientific applications

  • Social and economic effects

  • Reporting linkages and communications

  • System components (federal, state, local, public and private)

  • Supporting systems (research, education, and training).

For the first phase of the study, the committee will examine challenges in prevention, detection, and diagnosis presented by at least two specific animal diseases such as rinderpest; foot-and-mouth disease; West Nile virus; avian influenza; Newcastle disease; spongiform encephalopathies (scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease [CWD] in deer and elk, transmissible mink encephalopathy [TME], and feline spongiform encephalopathy), and Q fever. These diseases represent a sample of diseases categories that have potential economic impact, human and/or animal health impact, or are foreign to the United States. They represent diseases, some which are zoonotic, that could affect each of the major agricultural species. The study will not address diseases that have been recently studied by BANR, such as brucellosis, Johne’s disease, or bovine tuberculosis.

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