Nearly 100 veterinarians and emergency responders from across Nebraska teamed up with the veterinarian staff from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Service (APHIS/VS) to attend the annual Livestock Emergency Disease Response System (LEDRS) meeting held in Hastings last week.
The two-day meeting provided attendees with updates on homeland security issues, foreign animal diseases, responder credentialing and animal disease traceability and surveillance.
The LEDRS Veterinary Corps also completed a Federal Emergency Management Agency approved course that focused on agroterrorism and how animal emergency responders integrate into the overall response structure with other response entities, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The annual LEDRS training provides the Corps with the opportunity to review and practice for livestock disease scenarios they may encounter,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes. “If Nebraska would ever experience a foreign animal disease outbreak, the LEDRS veterinarians would assist the Nebraska Department of Agriculture in responding.”
The LEDRS program began in 2002 in response to biosecurity and agroterrorism concerns. LEDRS is the statewide system NDA officials will use to coordinate and execute a rapid response to the outbreak (or potential outbreak) of a foreign animal disease.