State of Montana

01/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/21/2021 15:58

Department of Livestock Conducts Activities in Preparation for a Foreign Animal Disease Introduction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 21, 2021

CONTACT:
Gregory Juda, PhD, Laboratory Director, (406) 994-4885, [email protected]

Dr. Anna Forseth, Program Veterinarian, (406) 444-2939, [email protected]

Department of Livestock Conducts Activities in Preparation for a Foreign Animal Disease Introduction

Helena, Mont.- The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) continues to prepare for a foreign animal
disease (FAD) introduction into the state. The Animal Health Bureau (AHB) and the
Montana Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL) were recently awarded funding by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to
increase practical livestock biosecurity measures and address needs related to receiving, testing,
and reporting diagnostic test results, respectively.

The AHB was awarded over $29,000 to conduct outreach to Montana cattle producers about biosecurity
measures that will be required for permitting movements of agricultural products during an
outbreak. In the coming months, the AHB will hold 10 biosecurity tabletop courses around the
state, focusing on biosecurity recommendations from the Secure Beef Supply program. The
tabletop exercises will serve as a 3D interactive model to help illustrate biosecurity principles
and why they are fundamental to decrease the risk of disease introduction. The tabletop
activities will be supplemented by on-farm biosecurity assessments for interested
participants.

'On-farm biosecurity is a critical management tool for producers to protect livestock from foreign
or domestic diseases,' said Dr. Anna Forseth, veterinarian with the Department of Livestock.

Additionally, the MVDL has been awarded $94,500 to progress efficiencies of data entry, and
analysis of diagnostic test results.

'Readily available data will be critically important to veterinarians and producers
during the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak,' said laboratory Director,
Gregory Juda, PhD. 'Veterinary diagnostic laboratories play a key role in disease surveillance
and livestock business continuity, and these activities will be best served by a laboratory
information system that can
provide State Animal Health Officials with accurate and timely information.'

The MVDL partnered with veterinary diagnostic laboratories at South Dakota State University and
the University of Illinois as part of a multi-laboratory joint grant submission.

Biosecurity and diagnostic efficiency will be key factors in the success of a FAD response. The DOL
is excited about the opportunity to advance its preparedness for a FAD and will look to producers
in the coming months to take advantage of these opportunities.

The mission of the Montana Department of Livestock is to control and eradicate animal diseases,
prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans, and to protect the livestock industry
from theft and predatory ani als. For more information on the Montana Department of
Livestock, visit www.liv.mt.gov.