The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service recently released the 2004 U.S. Animal Health Report, its first national overview of the health of domestic animals.
Dr. John R. Clifford, deputy administrator for Veterinary Services at APHIS, writes in the forward that the report serves "as a valuable source of information on the state of U.S. livestock, poultry, and aquaculture commodities as well as the programs and strategies used to ensure their continued health."
The first chapter of the report describes the U.S. infrastructure for safeguarding animal health, including the role of the AVMA and other national associations.
The 2004 report highlights new initiatives such as the National Animal Identification System, the National Animal Health Surveillance System, and efforts to enhance surveillance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The report summarizes epidemiologic events in 2004, including incidents of avian influenza and spring viremia of carp.
The eight-chapter report also addresses demographics of domestic animals, programs to eradicate or control animal diseases, and certification procedures for exports of live animals and animal products. The report devotes two chapters to diseases in foreign animals.
The report is one of the results of the 2001 Animal Health Safeguarding Review, Dr. Clifford writes. That review assessed approaches at APHIS' Veterinary Services to ensuring the success of the mission "to protect and to improve the health, quality, and marketability of the nation's animals, animal products, and veterinary biologics."
APHIS will update the Animal Health Report every year. The 2004 report is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/2004_us_animal_health_report.pdf.