The report is based on a recent collaboration between U.S. agricultural industry leaders and top scientists specializing in contagious animal disease.

“This collaboration between industry, science and policy marks a significant step toward developing and utilizing screening technologies for high consequence disease detection,” said Dr. Tammy Beckham, director of the FAZD Center. “To best meet the needs of our end-users and stakeholders, new screening tools should fit easily into day-to-day business operations and support business continuity during an outbreak situation.”

Entitled "Enhancing Ag Resiliency: The Agricultural Industry Perspective of Utilizing Agricultural Screening Tools," the report is now available at

The report is the product of a recent workshop convened by the Department of Homeland Security and the FAZD Center. Participants included leading foreign animal and emerging disease diagnostic experts from the U.S. and the United Kingdom, as well as leaders from the nation’s beef, dairy, pork, poultry, sheep and goat industries.

This workshop was the second held to date in a series of collaborative discussions on the development and deployment of agricultural screening tools. Some priorities defined by the participants, are:

  • Develop agricultural screening tools that can be used to permit movement of animals that do not have clinical signs of disease and associated animal products (e.g., milk), especially during an outbreak or recovery period.
  • Validate assays that are currently being used for testing, such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), for use with additional matrices, including milk (such as from bulk milk tanks), oral fluids (such as from saliva-drenched ropes), meat juice, air and environmental samples, and blood, especially for testing for foot-and-mouth disease virus.
  • Validate pooling of samples to test for foreign animal diseases, including optimal pooling of swabs or similar specimens for key poultry diseases and optimal pooling of animal blood and/or swab samples, especially for foot-and-mouth detection.
  • Develop simple, low-cost, field-deployable devices for nucleic acid extraction and/or amplification.
  • Develop and validate serological tests for “disease free” testing and develop associated policies for using those tests.
Participants also discussed other critical needs, such as developing a more robust information technology infrastructure for reporting and sharing laboratory test results.

The 40 participants in the workshop represented the National Milk Producers Federation, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, the National Pork Board, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, Mountaire Farms, Canyon Veterinary Consultants, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA Agricultural Research Service, the Texas Animal Health Commission, the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System and the Pirbright Institute for Animal Health. end_mark