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From: TSS ()
Subject: Reports Call for High-Level Coordination of Animal Health and More Research-Oriented Veterinarians NAS
Date: July 19, 2005 at 7:15 pm PST

Date: July 18, 2005
Contacts: Bill Kearney, Director of Media Relations
Michelle Strikowsky, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reports Call for High-Level Coordination of Animal Health and More Research-Oriented Veterinarians

WASHINGTON -- The United States needs a new high-level mechanism to coordinate the currently fragmented framework for confronting new and emerging animal-borne diseases, such as mad cow disease, avian influenza, and West Nile virus, says a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council. Also, a second Research Council report released today says stronger efforts are needed to recruit more veterinarians and other scientists into veterinary research. Both reports note that a growing shortage in the number of veterinary pathologists, lab animal scientists, and other veterinary researchers -- especially those involved in public health -- is making it more difficult to meet mounting challenges in animal health.

The recently confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in June 2005 illustrated the potential economic impact of disease outbreaks, as some countries closed their markets to U.S. beef and beef products. Emerging diseases and the possibility of bioterrorism targeted at the food supply are among the evolving threats that challenge the U.S. animal health framework.

Currently, dozens of federal and state agencies, university laboratories, and private companies monitor and maintain animal health in this country. Many of the government agencies perform similar functions, while gaps in responsibility also exist, particularly in federal oversight of nonlivestock animal diseases. Animal Health at the Crossroads: Preventing, Detecting, and Diagnosing Animal Diseases says centralized coordination is needed to harmonize the work of public and private groups that safeguard animal health. The coordinating mechanism should facilitate the sharing of information among agencies and connect key databases, as well as improve communication with the public, especially during animal disease outbreaks.

The report also calls for stronger links in the network of public and private labs that test for and diagnose animal diseases. The establishment of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, which links labs performing tests for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a good start, but the network lacks the capacity to deal with multiple outbreaks and currently is only prepared to detect a narrow list of diseases. Moreover, the animal health network needs better connections to the public health systems that detect and diagnose human disease, the committee said.

Agencies responsible for protecting against animal disease outbreaks, such as USDA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, should support the development of new technologies for preventing and rapidly detecting diseases, the report says. These agencies should also take advantage of emerging information, sensory, and genomic technologies. Such innovations are needed to respond to the growing risk of disease spread caused by factors such as an increase in agricultural trade and large-scale production of food animals.

Given that the complex, rapidly growing global food system contributes to the spread of new diseases into the United States, the committee urged the U.S. to enter into new agreements with other countries and international organizations to create global systems for preventing and detecting animal diseases. New regulations are also needed to tighten controls over the sale and possession of exotic, nondomesticated, and wild animals.

To garner public support for strengthening the country's animal health framework, the government and private sector should raise awareness of the threat that animal diseases pose to human health and the $2 trillion U.S. food and fiber industry. Given that almost three-quarters of animal diseases can infect humans, collaboration between animal health and public health organizations is urgently needed. In addition, USDA, state animal health agencies, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and colleges of veterinary medicine should develop and implement a national plan to train farm workers, zookeepers, and other front-line workers to recognize and rapidly report any signs of disease.

Unfortunately, the increasing challenges in animal health come at a time when the number of veterinarians pursuing careers in public health and veterinary research is declining. USDA, for example, predicts a shortfall of several hundred veterinarians on its staff by 2007, and a previous Research Council report projected a deficit of 336 veterinary pathologists in the United States and Canada by that time as well.

Boosting the number of veterinary researchers and improving their training and facilities is the focus of the second report, Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. The report says current funding for veterinary research has not kept pace with the rising challenges posed by new and emerging animal diseases. Society's need to protect against these diseases is outgrowing our veterinary knowledge base, the report warns. For example, it took several weeks to correctly diagnose the first U.S. cases of West Nile virus in humans, which occurred in New York during 1999. The report blames veterinary students' waning interest in research on a variety of factors, such as how long it takes to obtain both a doctorate in veterinary medicine (D.V.M.) and a Ph.D., substantial tuition debt, sparse financial support for graduate students in veterinary sciences, and the limited amount of basic science research in veterinary school curricula.

A federal debt-repayment initiative and more combined D.V.M./Ph.D. programs would encourage more veterinary students interested in research to enter the field, said the committee that wrote the report. But changing the culture of colleges of veterinary medicine will be equally important, the report adds. To that end, the AVMA Council on Education, which accredits veterinary schools, should strengthen its assessment of research opportunities that are available to students. For example, summer research programs could be expanded, and academic programs that support high-quality, cutting-edge scientific research should be developed.

The committee also outlined a research agenda that emphasizes interdisciplinary study, which is particularly important in veterinary research because it affects both animal and human health. Veterinary scientists should be encouraged to collaborate across disciplines and be rewarded for successful teamwork.

There are hurdles to interdisciplinary research, however. If an interdisciplinary research proposal does not fit the mission of any single agency, for example, it can be difficult to get funding. To overcome this, veterinary scientists should encourage the development of a long-term national interagency strategy for funding veterinary research. To begin with, the National Institutes of Health should consider creating a veterinary liaison position, and pursue integrated veterinary and human health studies via the NIH Roadmap, the new initiative to identify studies important to the agency's overall research portfolio. Such efforts will encourage scientists in all fields related to veterinary science to seek collaborative opportunities. Dependable, permanent sources of funding also are needed for studies that are critical to protecting the country, such as research on wildlife pathogens that could be used by terrorists.

Noting that hundreds of thousands of square feet of new and renovated facilities are needed to train additional veterinary students to meet public health demands, the committee urged veterinary associations to mount a campaign to inform policy-makers about the need for new research space. There is a particularly urgent need for more biocontainment space for the study of dangerous pathogens. For example, although new facilities at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, were designed and partially built in response to a USDA 10-year strategic plan, not all the needs documented in the plan have been met, according to the committee. The strategic plan's recommendations, as well as those of a Homeland Security presidential directive on the matter, should be implemented immediately.

Animal Health at the Crossroads was sponsored by the National Academies. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science was sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Animal Hospital Association, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, American Veterinary Medical Association, National Association of Federal Veterinarians, and the National Center for Research Resources. The National Research Council is the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. It is a private, nonprofit institution that provides science and technology advice under a congressional charter. Committee rosters follow.

Copies of Animal Health at the Crossroads: Preventing, Detecting, and Diagnosing Animal Diseases and Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science will be available later this summer from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain pre-publication copies from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).


[This news release and both reports are available at http://national-academies.org]


NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Committee on Assessing the Nation's Framework for Addressing Animal Diseases

Lonnie J. King, D.V.M.1 (chair)
Dean
College of Veterinary Medicine
Michigan State University
East Lansing

Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.1 (vice chair)
Vice President for Biological Programs
Nuclear Threat Initiative
Washington, D.C.

Sharon Anderson, Ph.D.
Director
Extension Service
North Dakota State University
Fargo

Corrie Brown, Ph.D., D.V.M.
Professor
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia
Athens

Timothy J. Herrman, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Office of the Texas State Chemist
Texas A&M University
College Station

Sharon K. Hietala, Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Diagnostic Immunology
California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, and
Department of Medicine and Epidemiology
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California
Davis

Helen H. Jensen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics and Head
Food and Nutrition Policy Division
Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
Iowa State University
Ames

Carol A. Keiser
President
C-BAR Cattle Company Inc.
Champaign, Ill.

Scott R. Lillibridge, M.D.
Professor of Epidemiology, and
Director
Center for Biosecurity and Public Health Preparedness
University of Texas Health Science Center
Houston

Terry F. McElwain, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Executive Director
Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
Washington State University
Pullman

N. Ole Nielsen, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus and Former Dean
Ontario Veterinary College
University of Guelph
Spruce Grove
Alberta, Canada

Robert A. Norton, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Poultry Science
Auburn University
Auburn, Ala.

Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H.1
Director
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, and
Professor
School of Public Health
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis

Patricia Quinlisk, M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Director and State Epidemiologist
Iowa Department of Public Health
Des Moines

Linda J. Saif, Ph.D.2
Professor
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Ohio State University
Columbus

Mark C. Thurmond, Ph.D., D.V.M.
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California
Davis

Kevin D. Walker, Ph.D.
Division Director
Agricultural Health and Food Safety
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture
Coronado, Costa Rica

RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF

Robin Schoen, M.A.
Study Director

Peggy Tsai, M.A.
Research Associate


1 Member, Institute of Medicine
2 Member, National Academy of Sciences


NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Committee on National Needs for Research in Veterinary Science

James E. Womack1 (chair)
Director
Center for Animal Biotechnology and Genomics, and
Distinguished Professor
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology
Texas A&M University
College Station

Lynn C. Anderson
Executive Director
Consulting and Staffing Services
Charles River Laboratories Inc.
Wilmington, Mass.

Leonard S. Bull
Associate Director
Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center, and
Professor of Animal Science
North Carolina State University
Raleigh

Charles C. Capen 2
Distinguished University Professor
Department of Veterinary Biosciences
Ohio State University
Columbus

Norman F. Cheville
Dean and Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor
College of Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University (retired)
Ames

Peter Daszak
Executive Director
Consortium for Conservation Medicine
New York City

W. Jean Dodds
Founder and President
Hemopet
Santa Monica, Calif.

David R. Franz
Director
National Agricultural Biosecurity Center
Kansas State University, and
Chief Biological Scientist
Midwest Research Institute
Frederick, Md.

Michael P. Doyle 2
Regents Professor of Food Microbiology, and
Director
Center for Food Safety
University of Georgia
Griffin

John A. Shadduck
President
Shadduck Consulting LLC
Fort Collins, Colo.

Darcy H. Shaw
Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine, and
Chair
Department of Companion Animals
Atlantic Veterinary College
University of Prince Edward Island
Canada

David E. Swayne
Research Leader and Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer
Agricultural Research Service
USDA Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory
Athens, Ga.

Ravi J. Tolwani
Associate Professor
Department of Comparative Medicine
Stanford University
Stanford, Calif.

RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF

Evonne Tang
Study Director


1 Member, National Academy of Sciences
2 Member, Institute of Medicine



Animal Health System Fragmented, Better Coordination Needed
July 18 -- The U.S. needs to better coordinate the currently fragmented framework for confronting new and emerging animal-borne diseases like mad cow disease, avian flu, and West Nile virus, says a new report from the National Research Council. In a related study, the Research Council also cites the growing shortage of veterinary research scientists as a major weakness in the effort to ensure animal as well as public health.

Press Release
Full Report - "Animal Health at Crossroads"
Report Brief (requires free Acrobat Reader)
Full Report - "Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science"
Report Brief (requires free Acrobat Reader)

REPORT IN BRIEF JULY 2005

Animal Health at the Crossroads

Preventing, Detecting, and Diagnosing

Animal Diseases

Safeguarding animal health is of paramount

importance to the U.S. economy, public

health, and food supply. There are a

number of animal diseases of concern that affect

the adequacy of the food supply for a growing world

population and have huge implications for global trade

and commerce (see Box 1, p. 2). Since many animal

disease agents are zoonotic, they carry the potential

to affect public health on a global scale. Additionally,

the impact of an intentional use of animal disease

agents to cause illness, loss of life, and economic

damage could be enormous.

In recognition of the changing influences on

animal health, the National Academies developed a

concept for a three-phase analysis of the U.S. system

for dealing with animal diseases. This report, which

embodies the first phase of the study, presents an

overview of the animal health framework and

examines its overall role in the prevention, detection,

and diagnosis of animal diseases. It examines how

well the current framework has responded to different

animal disease scenarios and how the framework

could be improved. A proposed second phase of the

study will focus on surveillance and monitoring

capabilities, and a third phase will focus on response

and recovery from an animal disease epidemic.

The confirmed case of "mad cow" disease (BSE) in

June 2005 illustrates the economic impact of disease

outbreaks, as additional countries closed their markets to

U.S. beef and beef products. Emerging diseases also

threaten public health—11 out of 12 of the major global

disease outbreaks over the last decade were from zoonotic

agents (that spread from animals to humans). In general,

the U.S. animal health framework has been slow to take

advantage of state-of-the-art technologies being used now

to protect public health; better diagnostic tests for

identifying all animal diseases should be made a priority.

The report also recommends that a coordinating

mechanism be established to enhance partnerships among

local, state, and federal agencies, and the private sector.

Coordination of Framework Components

The animal health framework is large; it includes

people who handle animals on a daily basis,

veterinarians and other animal health professionals,

numerous offices in more than 10 federal agencies,

several international organizations, and many

supporting institutions. Because of the very large

number of actors responsible in some way for

safeguarding animal health, it is not surprising that

effective coordination is a major challenge.

There are both overlaps and gaps in current

programs that point to a need for a strategic focal

point to enhance partnerships and to integrate all

stakeholders into a cohesive whole. While there are

several possible models for improved coordination,

the report does not recommend options for a specific

system-wide mechanism, in part because it has only

examined the animal health framework from the

partial perspective of prevention, detection, and

diagnosis.

Recommendation: The nation should establish a

high-level, centralized, authoritative, and accountable

coordinating mechanism or focal point for engaging

and enhancing partnerships among local, state, and

federal agencies as well as the private sector.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

2

Technological Tools for Preventing, Detecting,

and Diagnosing Animal Diseases

The current U.S. animal health framework has

been slow to evaluate, validate, and implement new

scientific tools and technologies that could

significantly enhance animal disease prevention,

detection, and diagnostic capabilities for the United

States. Technological advances that are now

available to the framework include immune system

modulators; animal-embedded chips to monitor

temperature and other physiological indices;

vaccines as prevention strategies, and a range of

rapid, automated, sensitive, and portable sampling

and assay systems for early warning and diagnosis.

Recommendation: Agencies and institutions—

including the U.S. Department of Agriculture

(USDA) and the Department of Homeland Security

(DHS)—responsible for protecting animal industries,

wildlife, and associated economies should encourage

and support rapid development, validation, and

adoption of new technologies and scientific tools for

the detection, diagnosis, and prevention of animal

diseases and zoonoses.

Scientific Preparedness for Diagnostics

Laboratory diagnosis of animal diseases in the

United States involves federal, state, university, and

commercial entities. However, the current network

lacks surge capacity and is not prepared for disease

agents and toxins outside a relatively narrow list of

diseases. The system also needs better integration

with the public health diagnostic and surveillance

system to strengthen the ability to diagnose and

rapidly detect most zoonotic and bioterrorism agents.

Currently, there are not enough strategically located

facilities in the United States to do research on agents

that require high levels of containment (containment

levels are classified as Biosafety Levels 1 through

4, with 4 being the most restrictive). Additional

Biosafety Level 3 facilities are needed for research

and surge capacity in case of outbreaks.

Box 1. Animal Diseases of Concern

Exotic Newcastle Disease—Most infectious and fatal disease of poultry worldwide. In California in 1971, 11.9

million commercial birds were destroyed to stop the disease. In 2002-2003, outbreak in California, Nevada, Arizona,

Texas, led to destruction of 3.21 million poultry, at a cost of $160 million in federal control efforts.

Food and Mouth Disease—Contagious disease of cattle, swine, and cloven-hoofed species such as deer, sheep

and goats. No incursions in the U.S. since 1929. In the U.K. in 2001, an epidemic that lasted 214 days led to the

destruction of 6.5 million animals.

Monkeypox—A rare viral disease affecting monkeys, rats, mice, and rabbits, and causing a rash and fever in

humans. In 2003, 70 human cases found in six states; the source of infection was traced to prairie dogs kept as

pets that had been in contact with rats shipped into the U.S. from Ghana.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) –The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that a total of

8,098 people worldwide became sick, and 774 died, when infected with a novel, contagious coronavirus (similar to

a virus found in civets, a type of cat) in 2003.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or Mad Cow disease)—Disease affecting the nervous system of cattle.

Not contagious, but is transmitted through ingestion of feed contaminated by an aberrant protein called a prion.

In 2003 a single case was found in the Washington State, leading other countries to stop imports of U.S. beef. A

second case was found in Texas in 2005. BSE is linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) known to have

caused 147 human deaths in the United Kingdom as of December 2004.

Avian Influenza—As of January 2005, the H5N1 avian influenza virus killed 34 of 47 infected humans and resulted

in the death and depopulation of over 100 million birds, primarily commercial poultry, as well as uncounted

numbers of wild birds.

Chronic Wasting Disease—A prion disease affecting cervids (deer, elk). Major problem in some U.S. western and

midwestern states where farmed and wild cervids are infected. There is no conclusive evidence to date that a

CWD prion has caused disease in domestic animals or people.

West Nile Virus—Poorly understood disease affecting birds, horses, and humans. In 2002 and 2003, WNV

infected 15,300 and 5,200 horses in North America, respectively. Human cases lead to flu-like signs or no

symptoms; rare instances of encephalitis and death.

3

Recommendation: The animal health laboratory

network should be expanded and strengthened to

ensure sufficient capability and capacity for both

routine and emergency diagnostic needs, and to

ensure a robust linkage of all components (federal,

state, university, and commercial laboratories) involved

in the diagnosis of animal and zoonotic diseases.

Recommendation: To strengthen the animal health

and zoonotic disease research infrastructure, the

report recommends that competitive grants be made

available to scientists to upgrade equipment for

animal disease research and that the nation construct

and maintain government and university Biosafety

Level 3 (BSL-3 and BSL-3 Ag) facilities for livestock

(including large animals), poultry, and wildlife.

Animal Health Research

Early recognition of emerging diseases requires

a fundamental knowledge of the epidemiology of the

disease, which includes an understanding of the agents

and hosts in their natural environment. Many individual

researchers address various diseases relatively

independently and usually with a focus on a single

host species or mouse model. As a result, medical

scientists may be unaware of key research done in

other species by veterinary scientists studying a similar,

closely related or even unique animal pathogen. For

example, the animal reservoir and susceptible species

for SARS remain undefined and integrated, and

collaborative research efforts to study the responses

to SARS in infected humans and diverse animal hosts

have not been instituted in the United States.

Recommendation: Federal agencies involved in

biomedical research (both human and veterinary)

should establish a method to jointly fund new,

competitive, comprehensive, and integrated animal

health research programs; ensure that veterinary and

medical scientists can work as collaborators; and

enhance research, both domestically and

internationally, on the detection, diagnosis, and

prevention of animal and zoonotic disease

encompassing both animal and human hosts.

International Interdependence and Collaboration

Globalization, population growth, and expansion

of human activity into previously unoccupied habitats

have essentially connected the United States to

potential zoonotic and non-zoonotic pathogens

residing throughout the world. This necessitates

coordinated international collaboration efforts

directed at identifying potential risks worldwide,

including regulatory mechanisms that minimize the

threat of introducing emerging infectious agents into

the United States or other unaffected countries. The

current system has been more ad hoc than strategic.

Recommendation: The United States should

commit resources and develop new shared

leadership roles with other countries and

international organizations in creating global systems

for preventing, detecting, and diagnosing known and

emerging diseases, disease agents, and disease

threats as they relate to animal and public health.

Importation, Sale, and Transport of Animals

The monkeypox outbreak of 2003 revealed a

lack of coordinated federal oversight of the animalcentered

aspects of diseases transmitted by exotic

animals. Import and movement of exotic animals

was, and still is, largely uncontrolled. Tracking of

these animals in the United States is inconsistent

and ineffective, and there is a disturbing lack of

standardized testing of the health status of exotic

animals at the point of origin and in companion animal

shops, trade fairs, and other venues. Considering

that the emergence of new disease agents occurs

most frequently at species interfaces, monkeypox

is not likely to be the last zoonotic agent to emerge

from an exotic animal in the United States.

Recommendation: Integrated and standardized

regulations should be developed and implemented

nationally to address the import, sale, movement, and

health of exotic, non-domesticated, and wild-caught

animals.

Addressing Future Animal Disease Risks

There has been increased recognition and use

of well-structured and scientifically based

mathematical, epidemiological, and risk analysis

models and tools to define acceptable risks and

mitigation strategies that can assist in policy and

science-based decision-making. Efforts to develop

scientific data on disease transmission, effectiveness

of control programs, economic evaluation, and

quantitative assessment of all factors involved in

making policies and regulations should be a priority

of the animal health infrastructure, working in

collaboration with academia, industry, and global trade

partners.

Committee on Assessing the Nation’s Framework for Addressing Animal Diseases: Lonnie J. King

(Chair), Michigan State University, East Lansing; Margaret A. Hamburg (Vice Chair), Nuclear Threat Initiative,

Washington, DC; Sharon Anderson, North Dakota State University (retired), Fargo; Alfonza Atkinson

(deceased), Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama; Corrie Brown, College of Veterinary Medicine, University

of Georgia, Athens; Timothy J. Herrman, Kansas State University, Manhattan; Sharon K. Hietala, University

of California, Davis; Helen H. Jensen, Iowa State University, Ames; Carol A. Keiser, C-BAR Cattle Company,

Inc., Champaign, Illinois; Scott R. Lillibridge, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston; Terry

F. Mcelwain, Washington State University, Pullman; N. Ole Nielsen, University of Guelph (retired), Spruce

Grove, Alberta, Canada; Robert A. Norton, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama; Michael T. Osterholm,

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; M. Patricia Quinlisk, Iowa Department of Public Health, Des Moines

Linda J. Saif, The Ohio State University, Wooster; Mark C. Thurmond, University of California, Davis;

Kevin D. Walker, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture, Coronado, Costa Rica; Robin

Schoen (Director), Elizabeth Reese (Study Director from Jun-Dec 2004) Tina Rouse (Study Director through

Jun 2004), Peggy Tsai (Research Associate), the National Research Council of the National Academies.

This brief was prepared by the National Research Council based on the committee’s report. For more

information, contact the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at http://dels.nas.edu/banr or 202-334-

3062. Copies of Animal Health at the Crossroads are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth

Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001; 800-624-6242; www.nap.edu.

Permission granted to reproduce this brief in its entirety with no additions or alterations.

Copyright 2005 The National Academy of Sciences

Recommendation: The USDA, DHS, Department

of Health and Human Services, and state animal

and public health agencies and laboratories should

improve, expand, and formalize the use of predictive,

risk-based tools and models to develop prevention,

detection, diagnostic, and biosecurity systems and

strategies for indigenous, exotic, and emerging

animal diseases.

Education and Training

There are insufficient graduates to meet the

needs in a number of major and distinct fields of

veterinary medicine dealing with various species of

food-animals, rural practice (mixed domestic

animals), ecosystem health (including wildlife

disease and conservation biology), public health, the

many dimensions of the food system, and biomedical

science. Too few veterinary students are choosing

to specialize in basic biomedical science or pathology.

Strong and well-functioning front-line detection

is provided by animal handlers and personnel

working with animals on a day-to-day basis who

need education and training that includes awareness

and recognition of clinical signs, as well as an

elementary understanding of disease transmission

and prevention. Responsibility for implementing the

educational plan would fall on those at the local level.

Recommendation: Industry, producers, the

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA),

government agencies, and colleges of veterinary

medicine should build veterinary capacity through

both recruitment and preparation of additional

veterinary graduates into careers in public health,

food systems, biomedical research, diagnostic

laboratory investigation, pathology, epidemiology,

ecosystem health, and food animal practice.

Recommendation: The USDA, state animal health

agencies, the AVMA, and colleges and schools of

veterinary medicine and departments of animal

science should develop a national animal health

education plan focusing on education and training

of individuals from all sectors involved in disease

prevention and early detection through day-to-day

oversight of animals.

Public Awareness

Increased public awareness is critical in supporting

and implementing transformations needed to

strengthen the framework against animal disease

risks. The lack of cohesive national advocacy for

animal health issues generally creates a much more

difficult environment in which to increase attention

and investment in the framework for preventing,

detecting, and diagnosing animal diseases, which

may directly impact human health.

Recommendation: The government, private sector,

and professional and industry associations should

collectively educate and raise the level of awareness

of the general public about the importance of public

and private investment to strengthen the animal

health framework.

http://www.nap.edu/reportbrief/11365/11365rb.pdf

http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/0309092590?OpenDocument

TSS



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