Shultz, Thomas

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, gregory.juda@mt.gov

Dr. Anna Forseth, Program Veterinarian, (406) 444-2939, anna.forseth@mt.gov

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.

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