When The Government Gets Involved

06:16PM Nov 11, 2008
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The earlier we're notified of an outbreak, the better,” says Dr. Darlene Konkle, with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture-Trade and Consumer Protection's (DATCP) Division of Animal Health. Konkle's office works closely with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

The first recognition that a disease outbreak may be occurring could come from a dairy producer, private vet, employee or the slaughterhouse. Once that call is made, the disease response would kick in with a foreign animal disease diagnostician sent to investigate. Based on what officials see, quarantine would likely be ordered. Samples would be collected and diagnosed, and a disease priority assigned. 

State and federal officials would then act quickly to get the outbreak under control. Within a few days, they would meet with county officials to discuss actions, resources and information management. That could lead to an emergency declaration and movement holds. Depopulation of infected herds, cleaning and disinfection of equipment and vehicles, and carcass disposal could follow.

Konkle supports premises registration as a tool that can help officials investigate and control an outbreak.