Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Veterinarians Warn of Agroterrorism Risk
Veterinarians and other animal-health experts meeting in Minnesota warned that plants and animals are susceptible to terrorist attack, the Associated Press reported yesterday (See GSN, Dec. 23, 2004).
“Agroterror would in fact be very easy to do, and we are quite vulnerable,” said Corrie Brown of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
Brown warned attendees at the joint convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association and World Veterinary Congress that animal diseases are highly contagious and can be obtained easily in less-developed countries. Brown used an image of a list of livestock diseases found in a cave in Afghanistan as evidence that terrorists are considering attacks on agriculture, AP reported.
“We know that there are numerous operatives that were planning these things,” Brown said.
Other convention attendees expressed concerns about the lack of veterinary laboratories and a shortage of veterinarians, according to AP.
Terrorists could use diseases such as avian flu, anthrax or rabies against animals and people, said Bernard Vallat, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health. He also fears terrorists could introduce a disease that affects livestock.
“The foot-and-mouth disease virus could be a terrible agent for bioterrorism because it could destroy totally the production of milk in a country,” Vallat said (Associated Press/Grand Forks Herald, July 17).
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