To check out the National BiosecurityResourceCenter for Animal Health Emergencies Web site, go to www.biosecuritycenter.org

Do you know which disinfectant will halt Salmonella, or the difference between avian and pandemic flu? If not, you can turn to the Internet and check out the updated NationalBiosecurityResourceCenter for Animal Health Emergencies.

“We originally started the Web site in June 2001 because security and biosecurity issues were just becoming popular, and we wanted to provide scientifically based resources,” says Sandy Amass, DVM, PurdueUniversity associate professor of swine production medicine.

“With the new center, we tried to target any audience that needs biosecurity information – community responders, veterinarians, producers, companion-animal owners and government-policy makers from the local to the national level,” she adds.

The Web site (www.biosecuritycenter.org), designed by Thad Blossom, project coordinator for agricultural programs at Purdue’s Homeland Security Institute, provides a slew of biosecurity information options. One popular component is a searchable database for information on disinfectants.

Here’s how it works. “You type in the ‘bug’ that you’re trying to get rid of, and the database comes up with the disinfectants that are labeled to address it,” says Amass, who also is the associate director of the Purdue Homeland Security Institute.

The database has about 120 disinfectants listed and, Amass points out, they are waiting for manufacturers to provide more label information. She recommends that disinfectant manufacturers send an electronic version of the product label to the biosecurity center’s Web master so that the team can enter it into the database.

Another feature is a secure, password-protected, Web-based tool to collect, store and manage resource information needed to respond to an animal emergency. Provisions are being made to allow Web-based data entry access for local authorities, as well as a voluntary data-entry area that local citizens can access.

In this section of the Web site, a county representative will enter his/her name, company affiliation and contact information. This person will then select each type of resource that is needed and available in an emergency. For instance, one county may have livestock feed and trailers, while another county has pens and other animal housing available. If a tornado hits one county and destroys a feed mill, the county representative could log on to the biosecurity center Web site and locate another county that has livestock feed available.

The community resource information will be accessible to select local authorities, such as community responders, not to the public. This area’s password protection lets a designated person for each county access the county’s site and provide the authority to submit information. Amass says local responders should consider this tool as a backup in the event of a disaster.

For the pork industry specifically, there is an updated truck-wash database where producers can go to find available truck washes in each state. There’s a biosecurity handbook and information on how to dispose of dead-pig carcasses. The site also will house educational programs and informational papers that address current animal-health issues.

A separate section provides links and photos for reportable diseases, such as classical swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease. The Web site provides an effective way to refresh yourself and your staff about diseases to watch for in your herd. Each state has different requirements on which diseases you are required to report, and this database provides that information as well.

The center is a cooperative effort between the Purdue Homeland Security Institute of Discovery Park, the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Indiana Board of Animal Health. It is, however, a nationwide center. 

The center’s Web site is an excellent resource that provides information and tools to help you and others in the pork industry meet everyday animal-health challenges as well as address potential emergencies.