... Strip away the rhetoric and it comes down to this: The pork industry, with its best interests and those of animal agriculture in mind, must make a voluntary commitment to national identification...

 

 

Are You Prepared for a Biosecurity Disaster?

 

JoAnn Alumbaugh, Editor, PORK Network

via FarmJournal's Pork - January 12, 2018

 

It seems weíve seen more natural disasters this year than usual: fires, floods and extreme cold have filled the headlines. Beyond natural tragedies are the threats of terrorist attacks through the deliberate use of biological and chemical agents. This fact has been highlighted by the discovery of substantial biological weapons development programs and arsenals in foreign countries, attempts to acquire or possess biological agents by militants and high-profile terrorist attacks.

 

An act of biological terrorism might range from dissemination of aerosolized anthrax spores to food product contamination; and predicting when and how such an attack might occur is not possible. However, the possibility of biological or chemical terrorism should not be ignored, especially in light of events during the past 10 years. Preparing the nation to address this threat is a formidable challenge, but the consequences of being unprepared could be devastating.

 

As part of our national preparedness, animal identification is more than a desire Ė it is a necessity. Itís a classic issue of surrendering a bit of the autonomy that likely appealed to your decision to become a pork producer in the first place, in deference to the broader interest of the pork industry and animal agriculture in general. In the long term, the ultimate reward comes back to the producer. It is the same issue of private versus public interest that permeates our lives every day. Take, for example, when seat belt laws were first enacted: We didnít want the government telling us what to do, even if the end goal was to ensure our own personal safety. They were considered a violation of our personal rights at first but itís become second nature to buckle-up.

 

Each approach is being considered in terms of retention, logistics and the ease of capture and transfer. From the database of movements established from the thousands of herds involved, traceability as enabled by divergent approaches will be assessed in the face of simulated foreign animal disease invasions. Only after intense review and analysis of different programs will the industry determine which system is most favorable for all parties.

 

Industry leaders are at the discussion table, representing your best interests...

 

... Strip away the rhetoric and it comes down to this: The pork industry, with its best interests and those of animal agriculture in mind, must make a voluntary commitment to national identification...

 

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