Online registration is now open at animalmortmgmt.org for the 5th International Symposium on Managing Animal Mortalities, Products, By-Products, & Associated Health Risks: Connecting Research, Regulations, and Responses. The conference, to be held September 28 – October 1, 2015, will take place at the Lancaster Marriot at Penn Square in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Catastrophic losses of poultry and livestock caused by disease, fire, or weather-related stresses, and routine losses associated with large-scale production operations, have become significant environmental, bio-security, and waste management concerns around the globe. The Symposium will highlight new research, current and emerging disposal methodologies, and critical assessments of public policy, with the intent to capture and disseminate new information on these topics, and to stimulate development of additional research, policy development, and educational programs.
 
Active learning will be achieved through an Emergency Exercise, “Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Outbreak.” This Emergency Exercise will include breakout sessions and active participation in facilitated scenario discussions. Participants will analyze a fictitious HPAI outbreak in various dimensions (one farm, multiple farms, state or province, and nationally) and identify issues and gaps related to depopulation, disposal and managing various contamination issues that would occur during the disease outbreak. The continuation of food production and distribution, with stop movement processes, will also be explored. The Exercise will draw upon real experiences of participants in responding the HPAI outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada in 2014 and 2015.
 
Participants will also have the opportunity to see how many Symposium topics related to managing animal mortality can be put in to practice by touring a variety of farms and businesses involved in Pennsylvania’s beef, dairy, swine and poultry industries. Participants will be able to choose one of the three tours offered on Monday, September 28. One tour will feature a 950-cow dairy facility that uses the latest technology to manage manure and mortalities in a way that enables them to generate enough electricity to power their entire production facility. On another tour, participants will see a multiple-enterprise farm with dairy and poultry operations — the farm manages more than 2,500 acres of cropland, six million egg-laying chickens, 2,000 dairy cows, a milk bottling and ice cream plant, and agri-tourism. Other tour stops include large commercial truck washes, large-scale mortality management options, compost facilities and one of the largest livestock auctions on the East Coast.
 
The Symposium will also include numerous exhibits and demonstrations, along with an international panel that will explore challenges, solutions and insight from countries around the globe. This is an excellent opportunity for veterinarians, academic researchers, extension educators and students to learn about the latest research, educational programs, and technologies. Symposium content is appropriate for: food and agriculture emergency managers, public health managers, food animal processors, composters and renderers.  Graduate students conducting research in carcass disposal, disinfection and decontamination are also encouraged to attend.
 
For more information and to register for the Symposium, visit animalmortmgmt.org. The Symposium is being hosted by Pennsylvania State Extension and has been developed by the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Center of Excellence, in collaboration with worldwide academia, industry and government partners. This event was made possible through funding from the DHS Science and Technology Directorate.