Biosecurity: Are veterinarians prepared?


Zoonotic outbreaks and governmental readiness concern speakers at Kansas City conference

Kansas City, Mo. — While improvements have been made in our country's readiness to combat a serious animal-disease outbreak, there is much work to be done, according to veterinary and government experts in biosecurity.

That message was delivered to some 250 attendees in a program titled "Biosecurity: Our Regional & National Response" presented by Kansas State University, Kansas Bioscience Authority, Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, Animal Health Corridor and the University of Missouri.

The daylong program—held in conjunction with CVC in Kansas City—featured keynote presentations on West Nile virus by Dr. Tracey S. McNamara, Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine; global biosecurity by Dr. David R. Franz, Midwest Research Institute; and "Lessons from the hot zone" by Drs. Jerry P. Jaax and Nancy K. Jaax of Kansas State University. Read below and on page 18 for details from presentations by McNamara and the Jaaxes.

Other presentations included a look at Plum Island Animal Disease Center with Dr. Larry Barrett of the Department of Homeland Security; a primer on lab capabilities at Kansas State University, with John Scott Rusk; "Protecting us from Mother Nature (the ultimate terrorist)," with George C. Stewart, PhD, University of Missouri Regional Biocontainment Lab; and an update on the threat of Rift valley fever and exotic bluetongue on U.S. animals, with Barbara S. Drolet, United States Department of Agriculture.

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