Mississippi Animal Disease and Disaster Preparedness Program
The Mississippi Animal Disease and Disaster Preparedness Program is a very simple and useful program for livestock producers and equine owners. Its basic objective is to develop a state-level producer contact list to assist livestock producers and equine owners in an animal health disease situation or disaster. The program is administered by the Mississippi Board of Animal Health.
Be a Part of the Solution
It is very important that Mississippi livestock producers and equine owners move forward as an industry to safeguard the health of individual herds. The danger of a contagious disease outbreak in the national herd, whether by natural occurrence or terrorist attack, makes it imperative that the location of producers and their herds be readily available to animal health officials. Producer cooperation is essential for rapid disease response in the instance of a contagious disease outbreak.
Rapid response to disease events is critical to maintain the health of the state herd. Certain diseases endanger the entire industry, and they could cripple the nation’s economy if not controlled. Diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease, Bovine Tuberculosis, or Johne’s Disease have far-reaching potential for major economic impact on cattle producers. Similarly, Equine Viral Arteritis, Equine Herpesvirus, and Equine Infectious Anemia are examples of major diseases of concern for the horse industry. Quick and effective disease containment is vital for keeping a disease from affecting additional producers. For further information on animal health risk management, visit the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University website: www.cfsph.iastate.edu. This website is an excellent resource that includes general prevention recommendations beef or dairy cattle operations can implement to decrease the risk of disease introduction or spread on ranches.
Another benefit of enrollment in the Mississippi Animal Disease and Disaster Preparedness Program is that it gives state animal health officials contact information for aid and relief efforts for natural disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods are just a few of the possible relevant scenarios in Mississippi that should stimulate appreciation for this aspect of the program. A similar state-level program in Colorado has already benefited cattle producers in disasters. Colorado ranchers with registered farms were called by the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office during blizzards. Those phone calls helped locate animals and find out if they had access to feed. Emergency hay drops then followed. Similarly, a state-level animal disease and disaster preparedness program here at home would prove invaluable when severe weather or other disasters in Mississippi threaten animal agriculture.
How the Program Works
Step 1) Fill out a producer registration form.
Producer registration forms are available in brochures from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Board of Animal Health, or local veterinarians. Filling out a producer registration form means basic contact information is made available to state animal health officials for use only in the event of an animal health emergency. Online forms are available on the following websites:
The Mississippi State University Extension Service can assist livestock producers and equine owners in obtaining and filling out these forms.
Step 2) Return a completed producer registration form to the State Veterinarian’s office at the Mississippi Board of Animal Health.
Completed producer registration forms can be mailed, faxed, e-mailed, or completed online. Blank forms for completion are included in this publication. Following is contact information for the State Veterinarian’s office:
Mississippi Board of Animal Health
P. O. Box 3889, Jackson, MS 39207
This contact information is also included on the producer registration form. The form is also designed as a prepaid postage self-mailer for producer convenience.
Publication 2487 (POD-06-19)
By Dr. Jane A. Parish, Extension/Research Professor; Dr. Justin D. Rhinehart, former Assistant Extension Professor; and Dr. Preston R. Buff, former Assistant Extension Professor; Animal and Dairy Sciences.
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