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New Mexico Ag/Livestock Incident Response Team (NM Alert)

Investigators
Witte, Jeff
Institutions
New Mexico State University
Start date
2009
End date
2011
Objective
To enhance staff training for foreign and emerging animal diseases and provide education and outreach support for participating veterinarians in the NM-ALIRT program to support the goals of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

Objective 1: Prevent incursion and/or spread of foreign or emerging animal disease in New Mexico and surrounding states through increased surveillance, prompt disease detection, and rapid direct response to a potential incident.

Output 1: Provide training for foreign and emerging animal diseases. Continue to train a network of practicing veterinarians geographically located throughout the state on field diagnostic practices. Train veterinarians to use uniform necropsy, specimen collection, and specimen preparation techniques. Provide funds to help to offset program expenses incurred at NMDA/VDS for program diagnostic activities.

Output 2: Provide education and outreach activities to support the goals of the NAHLN. Continue the NM-ALIRT program that will provide a timely response to an agricultural emergency.

This program focuses on rapid containment and diagnosis in the event of a possible FAD outbreak, bioterrorism attack, or an unknown large or suspicious livestock loss. This is a cooperative effort between NMLB; NMDA; New Mexico State University (NMSU) College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (CACES), and USDA. Training will include incident command system processes, FAD recognition, emergency response procedures, personal protective equipment usage and deployment, and other training as needed. Train support personnel such as brand inspectors, Extension specialists and agents, animal health technicians, and laboratory personnel as needed to assist in the event of an agricultural emergency. Conduct training and practice exercises with other state agencies to enable swift and coordinated responses in the event of an agricultural emergency. Provide a program to livestock producers and practicing veterinarians, at minimal cost to the producers, to assist in the event of a large or suspicious livestock loss.

More information
Non-Technical Summary: New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) proposes to enhance the NM-ALIRT program that will provide a timely response to an animal agricultural emergency. This program focuses on rapid containment and diagnosis in the event of possible foreign animal disease outbreak, bioterrorism attack, or an unknown large or suspicious livestock loss. This is a cooperative effort between the New Mexico Livestock Board, NMDA, New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, and United States Department of Agriculture. This program will provide staff training on foreign and emerging animal diseases and will train a network of practicing veterinarians geographically located throughout the state. Training will include incident command system processes, foreign animal disease recognition, emergency response procedures, and personal protective equipment usage and deployment as well as how to use uniform necropsy, specimen collection, and specimen preparation techniques.

Approach: The NM-ALIRT program began in 2006 to assist the state veterinary diagnostic laboratory and NMLB in surge capacity in the event of an FAD issue in New Mexico. The NM-ALIRT program is designed to equip and train a network of veterinary practitioners located geographically around New Mexico who will be able to respond when dispatched to a large or suspicious livestock loss anywhere in New Mexico. These veterinarians are an extension of Veterinary Diagnostic Services (VDS) and will be trained to collect, prepare, and ship appropriate diagnostic specimens so a rapid and accurate diagnosis can be made if possible. The program has enabled the training and provision of field diagnostic equipment to 23 large-animal veterinarians who are geographically and strategically located across the state. These participants have not only attended FAD training and field training but have also been involved in actual field diagnostic incidents on several occasions. Their geographic location across the state provides a rapid response and is cost effective for the regulatory agencies involved. These participants act as agents of the NMLB when called and are covered by the state of New Mexico. The NM-ALIRT program has created a network of private veterinarians who have been and will continue to be trained in animal disease field diagnostic and rapid response procedures. These veterinarians have agreed to assist the state in the event of an FAD outbreak or any other animal emergency that may occur. This team provides a tremendous resource for USDA, NMLB, and the livestock producers who provide the backbone for the nation's economy.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
NM-WITTE-09-O
Accession number
219159
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Food Defense and Integrity