Document Type

Conference Proceeding


2011 Extension Disaster Education Network Annual Meeting

Publication Date



Portland, OR


During the past decade the poultry and livestock industries 1 have experienced many mass mortality incidents worldwide. In North America alone, mass animal losses have been caused by hurricanes (Katrina, 2005; Rita, 2005); rangeland wild fires (North Texas, 2006); blizzards (Kansas, Colorado, 2007); prolonged heat stress (California, 2006), flooding (Midwest, 2009); Exotic Newcastle Disease incursion (California, 2001) and avian influenza outbreaks (Alberta, 2004; Virginia, 2002; Maryland, Delaware, 2002). Furthermore, untold numbers of producers and their insurers have been impacted by local fires, ventilation system failures, building collapse, and disease, resulting in animal loss.

Responding to industry-wide concern regarding the frequency and impact of catastrophic animal losses, the U.S. Animal Health Association issued a resolution in 2009 calling for expanded research and emergency management programs to address “knowledge and capability gaps related to mass animal mortality management” (USAHA, 2009). This call was seconded by a comprehensive review (Gilpen et al., 2009) of more than 2,000 emergency response articles published during the period 1965-2007 that identified significant gaps in educational and training materials pertaining to agricultural emergencies and called for development and delivery of agriculture-specific information for first responders, livestock producers, importers, shippers, international travelers, and the general public.


This paper was presented at 2011 Extension Disaster Education Network Annual Meeting, 11–14 October 2011, Portland, OR.

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