September 01, 2017


 Agency drafts plans for animal disease preparation, response

Posted Aug. 16, 2017

Federal animal health authorities published a plan to monitor for disease emergence and draw up plans for the biggest risks.

The plan published in July by the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service describes how the agency's Veterinary Services will group diseases into categories by risk to animal and human health, work with other government and private entities on subjects such as data collection and disease prevention, and communicate about disease threats. Rather than try to create a single response plan for all diseases, the agency describes in the document the methods that will be used to detect emergence and tailor each response.

The "Emerging animal disease preparedness and response plan" is available as a PDF at In 2014, the framework for this plan was outlined in an APHIS concept paper.

The APHIS plan directs processes for assessing emerging disease risks, creating emerging disease preparation and response teams, and determining what actions to take and resources to allocate. It also describes work with federal, state, tribal, academic, industry, and trade entities on subjects such as data collection, disease prevention, and outbreak response.

States will be responsible for reporting diseases, issuing holds or quarantines, and participating in local monitoring, control, and eradication activities. APHIS also is encouraging state authorities to contact Veterinary Services about unusual disease in their states as well as discuss diagnostic test results and epidemiologic information.

The plans lists porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, infectious salmon anemia, West Nile virus infection, monkeypox, Schmallenberg virus infection, and porcine epidemic diarrhea among examples of animal diseases that have harmed U.S. animals in the past few decades or could enter the country.