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Readiness for a major disease outbreak (foreign or domestic in nature) has been a priority of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health for several years. The devastation foot-and-mouth disease wrought on Great Britain in 2001 drew attention to the need for planning and preparedness. As a result, BOAH joined forces with State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to incorporate animal health emergencies in Indiana's master response plan. The "Animal Health and Care" emergency support function expanded on BOAH's established SAVE program, which addressed the needs of animals in natural and man-made disasters.
BOAH has proactively taken several steps to increase Indiana's readiness:
In 2001, BOAH and SEMA built upon an established animal response plan, known as SAVE, to include animal health/disease emergencies as a major area for planning, response and readiness. Indiana's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan was tested in October 2001, in a tabletop exercise. More than a dozen public and private agencies, state, federal and local, participated in a simulated foot-and-mouth disease break in central Indiana.
The following chart, with the color-coded key, describes the course of response for a confirmed foreign animal disease diagnosis in the state of Indiana.
Since 1998, Indiana has had a formal, written plan to respond to suspected foreign animal disease events, as well as emerging (not previously diagnosed) disease breaks. PREED (Preparedness and Response to Emergency and Emerging Diseases) is the foundation of Indiana's animal health emergency plan.
PREED is built around rapid response activities of species-specific teams of state and federal veterinarians and animal health specialists. Each team includes at least one veterinarian who has been trained as a foreign animal disease diagnostician at USDA's Plum Island, NY research facility.
"Don't Track It Back!" has been the biosecurity mantra of BOAH. The three-point campaign reminds animal owners of the most basic steps to biosecurity every livestock owner should practice:
For more information about biosecurity click here .
Disaster Preparedness Training Opportunities for the Public
BOAH and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (formerly the State Emergency Management Agency) offer a number of training and education opportunities for Emergency Management, Extension, Animal Control, veterinary providers, producers and others interested in preparedness.
Foreign Animal Disease Training
Several BOAH veterinarians, as well as the local U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinary staff and members of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine staff, have completed foreign animal disease training at the USDA's Plum Island facility in New York. This facility offers specialized, hands-on training in diagnosing animal diseases not known to exist in this country.
Purdue University Graduate Certificate Program in Veterinary Homeland Security
Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine presents the Graduate Certificate Program in Veterinary Homeland Security. The program is a cooperative effort among the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, the Indiana State Police and many others. APHIS has declared the curriculum in compliance with National Animal Health Emergency Management System (NAHEMS) Guidelines. The Veterinary Homeland Security Graduate Certificate Program is designed to meet the needs of individuals involved in animal emergency response. Individuals with expertise in veterinary medicine, public health, animal science or homeland security are encouraged to participate.