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United States National Animal Health Emergency Management System

Editorial

 

The United States National Animal Health Emergency System (NAHEMS, 1) focuses its attention on cooperation, collaboration and preparedness ("prevent, prepare, respond, recover").

The first part discusses progress on the seven "Action Guidelines", with a progress report on each in an appendix:

1. Strengthen Partnerships and Networks

2. Reinforce Federal, State and Industry Coordination

3. Support Animal Disease Research and Diagnostics

4. Improve Monitoring and Surveillance / International and Domestic Coordination Objectives

5. Expand Training, Education and Public Awareness

6. Build a National Preparedness and Response Infrastructure

7. Develop Emergency Preparedness and Response Contingency Plans

 

Then there is a list of five goals and their objectives:

1. Build an effective and coordinated national response infrastructure

2. Develop coordinated emergency response plans and agreements

3. Improve the national animal health surveillance system

4. Improve the research and development that support the NAHEMS...

Objective 1. Facilitate information exchange of US & global research initiatives in support of animal health & emergency management.  a. Create a database (a webpage within the NAHEMS web site) of concurrent research activities in animal health emergency management (Ex: biosecurity, rapid diagnostics, policy issues, etc.)  

Objective 2.  Assess research & policy activities for gaps or requirements....

5. Expand training, education, and public awareness to support the NAHEMS.

 

Reports from this organisation are to be published annually.

This would seem to be an admirable approach and the commitment to succeed is impressive, including funding for necessary research and services. If only the powers that be in the UK could please get on and implement the recommendations of the various FMD Inquiries and work in a coordinated and less legalistic manner. The current Contingency Plans are not impressive (2) although it is understood that DEFRA may be updating theirs shortly. The lack of an equitable distribution of funds from the EC for work in this area is also alarming (3).

In addition to the various FMD Inquiry Reports (4), another guideline for those in authority in the UK would be the report from the US National Animal Emergency Management System (NAHEMS).

 

References

1. United States National Animal Health Emergency Management System, Annual Report, 2001 (Download PDF).

2. FMD Contingency Planning Reports (View on Land-Care).

3. UK not included in EU funding for control of animal disease, Dundee Courier, 19/10/02 (View on Land-Care).

4. The various Foot and Mouth Disease Inquiry reports can be downloaded here.