In an ongoing effort to prepare the pork industry for a potential foreign animal disease (FAD), the USDA is working on a full-function exercise on foreign animal disease (FAD) that will be conducted the week of September 23. The exercise will focus on a fictional outbreak of African swine fever and the subsequent response by federal and state authorities along with the rest of the pork industry. 
 
The overall purpose of this exercise is to better prepare the U.S. pork industry and its stakeholders in the event of an actual FAD outbreak. Per the USDA’s Veterinary Services overview, this functional exercise will focus on exercising plans, policies, procedures, and staff members involved in management, direction, command, and control functions. 
 
During the exercise, participants will validate and evaluate capabilities, multiple functions/sub-functions, or interdependent groups of functions; they will also respond to an exercise scenario with event updates in a realistic, real-time environment. In addition, participants will assess the adequacy of response plans and resources. The exercise simulates deployment of resources and personnel, involves rapid problem solving, creates a highly stressful environment and involves multiple functions.
 
“Everything in this type of exercise is done for a reason,” says Dave Pyburn, DVM, senior vice president of the National Pork Board’s science and technology department. “We’re trying to create a realistic scenario of a confirmed foreign animal disease in this country to see how each stakeholder reacts and to find the gaps that need more work. It’s about finding ways to improve to help protection our nation’s swine herd.”
 
Original article July 25, The Pork Checkoff
USDA Plans Full-Function FAD Exercise in September