The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax scares later that fall heralded a new era of public health concerns in the United States. Bioterrorism (the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other agents used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants) and agroterrorism (intentional attack on agriculture infrastructures with biological agents) are recognized as terror threats equal to traditional weaponry. The post-9/11 era of public health magnifies the role that all health professions play in protecting citizens by preventing or controlling intentional health threats.
The veterinary medical profession has been involved in the protection
Emerging global conditions have resulted in an increased role for veterinary medicine in the protection of the nation's health, food supply, and economy. Biosecurity is the relatively new term currently applied to a very old concept: preventing the spread of disease. Controlling the spread of strictly animal diseases obviously falls within the purview of veterinary medicine, but veterinarians also play a role in public health by way of zoonotic diseases and other human-animal interactions. Federally accredited veterinarians, in particular, are responsible for preventing the movement of diseased livestock and animal products1,2 and must certify their competence in specific
The issue of public health and veterinary emergency response has persisted from the 2001 outbreak of foot- and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom through the anthrax-laced letters of September 2001 and the 2002–2003 outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease in California. These have been reinforced by the threat of pandemic avian influenza and the pet strandings during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.1–4 Although veterinary medical assistance teams have been established and deployed in the United States, the question of large and small animal practitioner involvement in emergency response still hangs over the profession. What, if any, is our
Natural pandemics of foreign animal disease (FAD), such as highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI), and agriterrorist threats, such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), have pushed US veterinarians to new states of readiness for disease recognition, control, and eradication. Regardless of the cause of animal disease, a likely outcome of an incident of severe disease is depopulation of the affected flock or herd. Depopulation refers to the killing of animals efficiently and quickly under extenuating circumstances, such as animals with a zoonotic disease, during rapidly spreading outbreaks, or when animals are isolated by natural disaster.1 It is in the days