Animal disease epidemics are a significant concern to the animal agriculture industry. The National Institute for Animal Agriculture will facilitate a discussion on this crucial topic, at their next Annual Conference, April 4-7 at the Downtown Marriott in Kansas City, Mo.

The biosecurity emphasis of the Conference, themed “From Farm to Table – Food System Biosecurity for Animal Agriculture” concentrates on identifying ricks, challenges and solutions and ways producers can be proactive in protecting their animals from illness.

“As an industry, we have not had this discussion together before,” says Dr. Karen Jordan, DVM, Planning Committee Co-Chair for NIAA’s Annual Conference.  “Today there are more new ways for diseases to be communicated throughout a species than ever before.”

Jordan, who is also a dairy farmer and represents Dairy Farmers of America, points out that all vitamins and minerals added to animal feeds are imported from outside the United States, mainly from China, which could place American animal agriculture at risk.

“We’re really putting industry on notice that we expect biosecurity plans to be in place,” Dr. T.J. Myers, associate deputy administrator for Veterinary Services in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (VS USAPHIS) noted in a recently released Journal of American Veterinary Medicine Association article. Owners of farms affected by disease outbreaks, including the 2015 outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, will need to certify they are taking steps to prevent similar incursions.

Plenary session speakers at the Conference will look at biosecurity from the federal and regulatory standpoint, and at the economic and human impact of disease and prevention.  Speakers on this imperative and timely topic include industry experts, regulatory agency authorities, academic specialists and animal agriculture professionals who deal daily with the issues.