Agriterrorism is the malicious use of plant or animal pathogens to cause devastating disease in the agricultural sector. It may also take the form of hoaxes and threats intended to create public fear of such events. "Biological weapons are not just a threat to human health. A terrorist armed with animal or plant pathogens also threatens the livestock, poultry, and crops of the agricultural sector, a vital part of the U.S. economy. The fact that a single, determined individual or small group could bring all U.S. beef or wheat exports to a halt underscores the need for increased defense against this threat." Infecting a herd of livestock that lives out in the open would be easier than attacking people, and some diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, could spread quickly as producers move and disperse their herds. One aspect of agriterrorism that differentiates it from biological terrorism aimed at killing or sickening people is that this is essentially an economic attack. Although there are animal diseases that can also infect humans, those diseases are few and in most cases the impact on human health is not serious. The real impact of agriterrorism is the potential for devastating economical impact. This document goes over the agriterrorist diseases, potential agriterrorists, and responses to the threat of agriterrorism.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): http://www.fema.gov
Tool Kit for Managing the Emergency Consequences of Terrorist Incidents: Interim Planning Guide for State and Local Governments, Appendix E