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Animal Health Emergencies

Preparedness for animal disease outbreaks has been a top priority for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) for decades.  A highly contagious animal disease event in Indiana may have economically devastating ramifications as well as public health or food safety and security consequences.

Foreign Animal Diseases

A foreign animal disease (FAD), or exotic animal disease, is a disease that is not currently found in the United States.  The FADs of greatest concern could cause significant illness or death in animals or cause extensive economic harm by eliminating trading opportunities with other countries and states.  These diseases would greatly impact the livelihood of Indiana's farmers and rural communities.

Several BOAH veterinarians, have completed foreign animal disease diagnostician training at the Plum Island federal animal disease center in New York.  This facility offers specialized, hands-on training in diagnosing animal diseases not known to exist in this country.  Indiana's trained foreign animal disease diagnosticians are located throughout the state and are available 24 hours a day to investigate suspected cases of a FAD.  An investigation is triggered when the State Veterinarian receives a report of animals with clinical signs indicative of a FAD or when a diagnostic laboratory identifies a suspicious test result.  The State Veterinarian assigns a FAD diagnostician to investigate the case immediately.

Early detection of a highly contagious animal disease and prompt reporting are critical to a successful response.  BOAH works with private practice veterinarians so they can identify the clinical signs of these diseases when they examine farm animals.  Suspected foreign animal diseases should be immediately reported to a veterinarian or an animal health official.  To contact the Board of Animal Health about a suspected FAD,
call (317) 544-2400. BOAH's toll-free number is (877) 747-3038.

Biosecurity Awareness

"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:

  1. If you've had contact with the general public: Change your shoes.

  2. If you've been to a market, sale barn or fairground: Change your clothes and shoes.

  3. If you've been to another farm operation: Shower, plus change your clothes and shoes.

For more information about biosecurity click here .

Training and Resources

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.

Pennsylvania State University Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense
Pennsylvania State offers an online certificate program that focuses on protection of the U.S. Food and Agriculture System.

The Center for Food Security and Public Health - Iowa State University
Iowa State University offers many resources and training modules for many aspects of biosecurity and protecting food and animal agriculture.

California Department of Food and Agriculture FAD Preparedness and Response Tools

CDFA designed a series of infographics to explain the response process for animal disease emergencies. Click on the "Preparedness Tools" link.