The latest version of the National Animal Health Emergency Response Plan for an Outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease or Other Highly Contagious Animal Diseases is making the rounds among industry and government stakeholders.
Issued Sept. 29, the draft document details how the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will work with state agencies to coordinate the response to a multistate outbreak of a highly contagious disease such as foot-and-mouth.
A foot-and-mouth disease outbreak is used as the model because it is considered the worst-case scenario. The plan can be adapted to other large-scale livestock disease outbreaks, including highly pathogenic avian influenza, exotic Newcastle disease, classical swine fever, and African swine fever.
The plan will be used as the coordinating document for upcoming emergency response plan manuals. It reflects input from industry and government stakeholders, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, APHIS, and the USDA Office of Crisis Planning and Management.
The plan is being widely distributed among diverse stakeholders for testing and input. It isn't intended to ever be finished; it is a working document meant to evolve as it is tested through national, state, and local exercises.
Eventually, an updated version of the plan will be posted on the USDA Web site for easy access.