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Tackling foreign animal disease as a team

 

A foreign animal disease outbreak has the potential to wreak havoc across rural America. Today, we discuss actions being taken at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to quickly rid the state of a foreign animal disease, while protecting producers.

AUDIO: Dr. Jeff Kaisand, Assistant State Veterinarian (Iowa)

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship works diligently, day-in-and-day-out, to protect Iowa producers from the devastating effects of a foreign animal disease outbreak. Why? Perhaps, National Pork Board (NPB) senior vice president of science and technology Dr. Dave Pyburn says it best, “It’s not a matter of it, it’s when.”

Dr. Jeff Kaisand serves as assistant state veterinarian for the Animal Industry Bureau of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Kaisand says the Department is adjusting its foreign animal disease preparedness plan.

“The state legislature, with strong backing from our industry, appropriated funds in 2017 and then (will) increase those funds in 2018. Some of the things we’re using those funds for…We have a new position in our Department, (an) Emergency Management Coordinator. That person’s task is to coordinate the pre-planning for disease outbreak (by) working with commodity groups and stakeholders, and helping producers be better prepared for a disease outbreak.”

Dr. Kaisand says, “We all need to work together now.’ Kaisand notes a couple critical components needing immediate attention/thought.

“Some key things they pre-plan is how they might dispose of animals, how they might euthanize their animals and make sure they understand what’s currently going on that might or might not be available for indemnity for those animals,” Kaisand said. “Also, having a strong biosecurity plan now, ahead of disease, is good for day-to-day production, but also to try and keep themselves from being infected from a disease outbreak.”

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship offers producers guidance materials. These documents can be found at www.iowaagriculture.gov.

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