Protecting Public and Animal Health: Homeland Security and the Federal Veterinarian Workforce, Hearing Before the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia Subcommittee of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, February 26, 2009 [open pdf - 3MB]
From the opening Daniel Akaka: "The Federal veterinarian workforce is on the front lines in ensuring our homeland security, public health, and food safety. In total, there are over 3,000 veterinarians working in the Federal Government. Their role is especially critical in areas of disease prevention and response. Although we are not facing a major disease outbreak in the United States right now, we must remain vigilant, and this is what this hearing is about. About 75 percent of newly emerging infectious diseases originate in animals. One example of this type of zoonotic disease is avian influenza. According to the World Health Organization, the H5N1 strain of avian influenza has led to over 250 human fatalities in about 400 known cases, over a 60 percent fatality rate. This outbreak has occurred overseas, but we should remember that diseases do not respect international borders and may prove difficult to control. Our livestock and food supply also could be endangered by animal diseases. The 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom led to the slaughter of more than four million animals and cost the British agriculture and food sectors over $5 billion. Some experts believe that a similar foot and mouth disease outbreak in the United States could reduce our agricultural income by over $14 billion." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Daniel Akaka, George Voinovich, Lisa R. Shames, Nancy H. Kichak, Gerald W. Parker, Jill M. Crumpacker, Thomas J. McGinn, W. Ron DeHaven, Micahel Gilsdorf and Marguerite Pappaioanou.
S. Hrg. 111-232; Senate Hearing 111-232
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html