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On Demand September 12, 2007

Consequences of a Foreign Animal Disease on the Rural Community

Broadcast Date: September 12, 2007
(1 hour, 30 minutes)


Handouts (3 pages)
Cumbria Foot and Mouth Inquiry (12 pages)
BBC: A Slaughterman's Story (3 pages)
Lessons Learned Foot and Mouth Inquiry
(12 pages)

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Windows Media Player

Post-Conference Materials


Program Overview

The food industry, including livestock, is one of the most open industries in North America, and is readily susceptible to outbreaks of Foreign Animal Disease (FAD). FAD could be introduced accidentally - as happened in the UK - or it could be introduced intentionally. History has illustrated that during an FAD, there is massive and widespread depopulation of millions of animals and a major disruption to most related livestock industries. There also are significant ill effects on domestic and export markets for meat and milk, and the potential for a downward spiral for the national economy.

The control of FAD is not a technical challenge - it is a resource management challenge. It is a public relations and an information management challenge. It also can be an endurance challenge, typified in the past by the six months spent working on Foot and Mouth Disease in the UK and more than 450 days spent working on the 1997 classical swine fever outbreak in the Netherlands. We need to understand the risks associated with dealing with FAD, and know what we can do to prevent them or at least reduce their impact.

The social and psychological impact of FAD will be at all levels of society occurring at the national, regional and local or community levels. Neighbors will be against neighbors as the disease strikes one and not the other. This will cause numerous conflicts, disputes, family breakdowns and lawsuits. This program will focus on the psychological issues affecting two groups during an adverse animal event: the families directly impacted and those who are called upon to respond. Drawing from his personal and professional experience in England during the 2001 Foot and Mouth disease event, Dr. Van Wie will relate the experiences of livestock producers who lost their animals and their livelihoods, as well as the emotional impact he endured himself as a responder to the event.


Steve Van Wie, DVM
Large Animal Veterinarian (Retired)
Member, USDA Veterinary Services Reserve
Veterinary Corps

Target Audience

Public health professionals, first responders, community planners, veterinarians, healthcare providers, producers, and educators.

Contact Hours

None for this program.

Contact for Technical Assistance

Call 334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN.

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