State ag officials have developed a new “rapid communications network” to talk to the state’s veterinarians. Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge says 75 percent of the state’s vets have e-mail, and her office now has that e-mail list. Judge says there are lots of concerns over foreign threats.Judge says her agency wanted to have an instant means of communicating with Iowa veterinarians.Judge says e-mail’s instant, whereas it would take her agency days to call every vet clinic individually.Dr. Patrick Webb, a vet who’s the state’s foot and mouth disease plan coordinator, says Iowa vets are the first line of dense against foreign animal diseases.Webb and Judge call their e-mail list of Iowa vets IRVIN, which stands for the Iowa Rapid Veterinary Information Network. The agency is now collecting fax numbers from vets who don’t have e-mail, but Judge expects most vets to have e-mail access within the next five years.
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