KANSAS: Opinion: K-State bio lab could be the CDC for animal health
Posted: September 11th, 2009 - 8:54am
Source: K-State News
Commentary from W. Ron DeHaven, CEO and executive vice president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and a former administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
For more than 60 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has served our nation’s human health care needs with advanced research and scientific innovation. The result has been the control or eradication of some of the most deadly human diseases and illnesses, including smallpox, malaria and Legionnaires’ disease.
The CDC has rightfully gained international recognition for the monumental results it has achieved in public health, results that have saved countless lives in the United States and abroad.
Today, there is an urgent need to take the highly successful CDC model for human disease diagnostics and research and apply it to animal disease diagnostics and research that will preserve a safe, healthy food supply and a sustainable, successful agriculture infrastructure. It also will provide for critically important protection against animal diseases and zoonotic diseases, which are those traded between humans and animals.
An effort to meet this need with a new facility is already under way. The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, will have the critical mission of diagnosing and developing vaccines and countermeasures for treating, controlling and eradicating disease threats such as foot-and-mouth disease and African swine fever.