The federal department of agriculture’s sending out a CD-ROM full of information for “agricultural first responders.” Andrea McNally with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service lists who those responders might be.State and local emergency-management and veterinary authorities, local and state departments of agriculture, and animal-health professionals. If there’s an outbreak of serious animal disease, they may try to track where it came from and how it arose, though McNally explains they won’t be doing detective work. They’re strictly there to work on eradication of animal disease, not to work on what may have caused any intentional contamination. If there’s any suspicion of that, she says the investigation will be left up to law-enforcement and other agencies. It’ll give information on animal diseases, how they spread and can be contained, measures for producers to an prevent an outbreak from spreading, contact information to report anything suspicious in their animals or on their property, and more. There are plenty of agencies there to help them, this is just an additional resource. The USDA says its new ag first-responder resource CD will go to professionals in a “limited distribution,” so there won’t be one in every rural mailbox.
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