Emerging Animal Diseases: Actions Needed to Better Position USDA to Address Future Risks, Report to the Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 3MB]

"Pork is consumed more than any other meat worldwide, and there are numerous other products made with ingredients from pigs, including medical products, such as insulin to treat diabetes. The United States is the world's third-largest producer of pork products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that U.S. pork exports in 2014 were valued at over $6 billion. Two lethal, highly contagious diseases in pigs emerged in the United States in 2013 and 2014, causing the deaths of millions of pigs. The two emerging diseases are collectively known as Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases (SECD). The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review federal actions to address SECD outbreaks. This report examines (1) the initial response to the SECD outbreaks, (2) USDA's subsequent actions to manage SECD, and (3) steps USDA has taken to improve its future response to emerging animal diseases. GAO analyzed USDA efforts to collect data about the number and location of infected herds; reviewed federal regulations and USDA animal disease response guidance; and interviewed USDA, state, and industry stakeholders involved in the response and control efforts. GAO recommends that USDA develop a process to help ensure its guidance for investigation of animal diseases is followed and clarify and document how it will respond to emerging diseases, including defining roles and responsibilities . USDA generally agreed with GAO's recommendations."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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