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Bioterrorism: farmer's enemy


Milwaukee-The cattle of America may be under siege, according to experts who are studying the bioterrorism issue.

Milwaukee-The cattle of America may be under siege, accordingto experts who are studying the bioterrorism issue.

Such an attack might involve deliberate introduction of foot-and-mouthdisease, other infectious livestock illnesses or germs that could kill crops.

Dr. Mark Wheelis, a University of California microbiologist, says thecountry is "tremendously vulnerable" to agri-terrorism.

"A half-dozen cases of foot-and-mouth disease across the U.S. wouldlead to an instant shutdown of all of our meat and meat products exports."

An Iowa State University review on agri-terrorism adds fuel to the discussion,indicating that poor security on most farms nationwide "guaranteesunchallenged and unhindered access to the determined, patient terrorist."

Veterinarians are referred to as the "front line of defense"against such acts.

The state veterinary lab also plays a key role in helping to preventspread of infectious animal diseases by rapid diagnosis.

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