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USA Animal Quarantine

awnlee jawking

More story help wanted!

In the USA, if there are a lot of unexplained animal deaths, both farmed and wild, which authority or authorities would investigate and declare a quarantine zone?

My current placeholder is the CDC (Center for Disease Control), but I'm wondering whether in real life it would be an agriculture-specific body.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

AFAIK, in the US the CDC is indeed responsible for quarantine decisions regarding animals and livestock in cases there is danger for humans as well. There is another agency in charge of animal quarantines, the USDA's (United States Department of Agriculture) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), but I don't know how their competencies are regulated.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

From what I've read the local investigations and enforcement of animal quarantines within the USA are handled by the various local state agencies with help from a number of federal US agencies, but the actual declaration of the quarantine is by the CDC as they're the ones authorised to do so by law. You may want to check that with the various US laws or the various US state farm help bureaus.

typo edit

Capt. Zapp

@robberhands

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)


Good thing they didn't get stuck with " Animal and Plant Health Inspection Department (APHID) :-D

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@Capt. Zapp

*snort*

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

The CDC is equipped to respond very rapidly to an unfolding health crisis, while the Agriculture committees only consider long-term studies of possible health implications (i.e. it'll take years before they ever take action one way or another, typically based primarily on politics).

Ross at Play

This is not an answer to your specific question, but from what you say in the OP you might find some interesting background information at Invasive Species .gov

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Thanks, but I didn't readily find anything relevant to my story.

AJ

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

USDA, for livestock.
US Fish & Wildlife Service for wild animals.

The CDC will only become involved if the cause is some form of pathogen and there is evidence that it is transmissible to humans. At which point, the CDC will take over.

The EPA, and possibly even the FBI will get involved if the cause of the deaths is a toxin.

Other agencies may become involved if the cause is radiological.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

I was fearing something like that. I might have to go with what's entertaining, rather than what's accurate :(

AJ

Dominions Son
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I was fearing something like that. I might have to go with what's entertaining, rather than what's accurate


To be accurate, depends on the cause of the deaths. If it's something novel, accurate would mean it takes time to work out which agency is in charge. If it's something well known and known to affect both humans and animals, anthrax for example, it's perfectly accurate for the CDC to take control early.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I was fearing something like that. I might have to go with what's entertaining, rather than what's accurate :(

If it's not an ongoing story, don't be afraid to revise. Adding an extra chapter often improves a story, or at least addresses weak points. Adding more detail about how a situation escalates out of control is better than "Ho hum, a worldwide plauge wiped out 98% of humanity, now who can I fuck?"

It's not strictly necessary, but increasing the threat of a major drama by taking longer to bring it to the fore (for some chickens die, then the rabbits and then the farmer's daughter). The CDC rushes in, but can't immediately identify the pathogen, so won't take unilateral action, and cases spread. Still, the CDC can't determine that the unknown pathogen produced the one human illness. The tension mounts as readers wait to discover what's going to happen.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@Crumbly Writer

and then the farmer's daughter


Not the farmer's daughter! Who will the travelling salesman sleep with then?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@JohnBobMead

Not the farmer's daughter! Who will the travelling salesman sleep with then?


If he's from New Zealand, he'll sleep with the sheep, in either case.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

sleep with the sheep

If he is feeling sheepish, or maybe sheepy. Ewe know he will take it on the ram.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
jimpierce08

In terms of livestock animal quarantines, even for human communicable diseases, I'm not sure it is ever the CDC, and is instead USDA. For example BSE (Mad Cow Disease); look at this story and note the complete absence of any reference to any agency other than the USDA: http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/03/health/california-mad-cow/index.html

For many other animal diseases it is not federal, but state or local - for example Hawaii has quarantines for dogs and cats entering the state, although they are less stringent than they once were.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@jimpierce08


for example Hawaii has quarantines for dogs and cats entering the state


Those are strictly precautionary quarantines. US Federal law and most other nations do the same thing for animals traveling internationally.

In terms of livestock animal quarantines, even for human communicable diseases, I'm not sure it is ever the CDC, and is instead USDA. For example BSE (Mad Cow Disease);


It depends on whether the disease is transmissible to humans from live animals (anthrax).

For BSE, the cause has never been positively identified and evidence of transmissiblity to humans is weak at best, and even if it is, it's transmissible only by consumption through the food supply. That left BSE in the USDA's jurisdiction.

Small outbreaks tend to be handled by state/local officials.

If an outbreak of a disease transmissible from live animals to humans happens on an interstate scale, actual orders for livestock quarantines may go through the USDA, but the CDC will take the primary roll because of the potential need to quarantine people who have been exposed to infected livestock.

Replies:   jimpierce08
StarFleet Carl

@richardshagrin

is feeling sheepish


We all saw what ewe did there.

What are you, from Montana? Where the men are men and the sheep run scared? :)

Replies:   sejintenej
StarFleet Carl

@Dominions Son

Other agencies may become involved if the cause is radiological.


If any of the three letters of my old military occupation are involved, then you'd also have USARMIID involved. It's NEVER a good thing when the boys and girls at Ft. Detrick are involved. (Those letters are NBC - Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical.

jimpierce08

@Dominions Son

If an outbreak of a disease transmissible from live animals to humans happens on an interstate scale, actual orders for livestock quarantines may go through the USDA, but the CDC will take the primary roll because of the potential need to quarantine people who have been exposed to infected livestock.

I can't disagree with that. Doesn't sound like you are disagreeing with me, either. The quarantine of livestock is USDA. The quarantine of people is CDC. Both may be involved in investigating.

Small outbreaks tend to be handled by state/local officials.


Again, I agree. I have personal experience with one such involving animals I owned, and it was the state veterinarian who imposed the quarantine. It was human transmissible, but I'm not aware of any human medical practitioner being involved.

sejintenej

@StarFleet Carl

What are you, from Montana? Where the men are men and the sheep run scared? :)

No, that's New Zealand

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@sejintenej

New Zealand

Where they have a lot of new zeal and enthusiasm.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

Where they have a lot of new zeal and enthusiasm.

They're famous for new veal, lamb, and dairy too.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@jimpierce08

In terms of livestock animal quarantines, even for human communicable diseases, I'm not sure it is ever the CDC, and is instead USDA. For example BSE (Mad Cow Disease); look at this story and note the complete absence of any reference to any agency other than the USDA:

This one case actually better explains the difference between the two agencies (CDC vs USDA). The CDC reacts quickly to immediate health concerns, but BSE wasn't an immediate concern, and only unfolded following extensive research into the causes of the problem. (Note: The USDA only got involved long after Europe banned ALL us meat imports, so it was hardly a 'timely' response. The CDC can only respond to threats they can document and can't cast groundless aspersions against existing businesses.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

They're famous for new veal, lamb, and dairy too.

That's only because old dairy isn't any good.

richardshagrin

In my limited experience New Zealand's definition of lamb is older than the one in the US. Their "lamb" chops were mutton.

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