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Homeland Security Recommendations
for Livestock & Poultry Industry
Subject: Homeland Security
Attention: Livestock and Poultry Producers, Handlers and Related Interests

As a result of increased homeland security concerns, foreign animal disease surveillance is more important now than ever. Whether you are involved in animal movement, livestock production or marketing, you should be particularly aware of any signs that could indicate a highly contagious disease or any other unusual or unexplained adverse animal health event. No potential foreign animal disease cases should be disregarded. Potential hoaxes should be treated as suspect occurrences of a disease until proven otherwise. Specific attention should be directed at livestock and poultry concentration points.

To assist in the rapid detection of a bioterrorist act, please use the contact information below to notify state or federal animal health officials if you have concerns or observations to share. General suspicious signs of bioterrorism in animal populations include:

  1. Increased morbidity or mortality.
  2. Disease in a species not normally manifesting the disease.
  3. Disease at unusual time of year.
  4. Disease in areas where not normally found.
  5. Lack of response to the usual treatment.

Specific signs that may indicate exposure to a bioterror agent include:

  1. Excessive discharges from body orifices.
  2. Off-feed or weight loss.
  3. Skin lesions including blisters, pustules or discoloration around animal's mouth, nose, teats or hooves.
  4. Abnormal behavior; excessive vocalization, depression.
  5. Excessive urination, excessive salivation, excessive tearing.
  6. Lameness, off balance, falling down, difficulty rising; circling, partial or complete paralysis.
  7. Muscle tremors, seizures.
  8. Sneezing, open mouthed breathing, gasping for air, nasal discharge, coughing, difficulty breathing.
  9. Diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, excessive dry manure.
  10. Twisting of head and neck.
  11. Foaming at mouth or nose.
  12. Head pressing, stargazing, no menace response, uneven pupil sizes.
  13. Drooping wings, feather or hair loss, excessive loss of mane and tail hairs
  14. Partial to complete drop in egg production, production of thin-shelled eggs.
  15. Swelling of tissues around eyes, neck or legs; cloudiness of eyes.
  16. Abortions, still births, weak neonates
  17. Abnormal body temperature.
  18. Unusual ticks or maggots.
  19. Staggering, falling or central nervous system disorders.

The following emergency security monitoring procedures are intended to prevent or detect security breaches that could lead to threatening conditions. The list of procedures is not all-inclusive; additional monitoring procedures may be appropriate:

  1. Observe the outer perimeter of your establishment to ensure that any fences and gates are intact. Ensure that entrances to the
    establishment are secured against unauthorized entry.
  2. Check incoming raw materials - ensure that all deliveries are verified against shipping documents.
  3. Observe live animals arriving at your establishment for symptoms of specific disease that may indicate the introduction of a biological agent (e.g., foot and mouth disease) into the livestock population. Also, promptly notify state or federal animal health officials when lesions or other signs of foreign animal diseases are noted in livestock or poultry during ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection.
  4. Monitor the use and storage of any hazardous materials in your establishment and ensure that entry into storage areas is controlled and that usage logs are maintained and current.
  5. Examine products in storage areas for evidence of tampering.
  6. Check the security of the plant's water systems, especially water storage facilities and reuse systems. Check the plant's potable water supply and report any change in the appearance, taste or odor to the establishment.
  7. Be sure personnel performing maintenance, construction and repair at your establishment are properly identified and authorized to perform such activities, and are supervised while on your premises.
  8. Observe production processes (slaughter, processing, fabrication, packaging, etc.) where exposed products are being handled for indications of any possible attempts to introduce contaminants into the product.
  9. Be aware of the behavior and in-plant movement of establishment employees, especially those who suddenly appear in areas where they are not assigned to work.
  10. Monitor loading dock areas and vehicular traffic in and out of your establishment. Report all unattended deliveries on loading docks and unmarked vehicles parked on the premises to establishment management immediately.

In addition to these security measures, it is strongly advised that all visitors to your establishment have the proper identification and wear appropriate protective clothing.

Successful emergency response depends on your ability to recognize and report unusual disease or illness in the animals you own or care for. Call your veterinarian, the N.J. Division of Animal Health at (609) 292-3965 or the USDA-APHIS-VS office at (609) 259-8387 for assistance immediately if you observe any unusual occurrences at your facility.

Thank you for your assistance in helping to keep the animals of New Jersey safe.

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