Prioritizing foreign animal disease preparedness


Prioritizing foreign animal disease preparedness

The head of the Illinois Beef Association says foreign animal disease preparedness continues to be a priority for members.

Josh St. Peters says if a disease like African swine fever was detected in the state, it would have wide-ranging impacts on other livestock species. “Because if there were stop orders put in place or we had to restrict the movement of livestock in specific counties or regions of the state due to an ASF outbreak, that creates some concern about what it would mean for cattlemen as well,” he says.  “What it would mean for sale barns, processors, or what it would mean for livestock transportation.”

St. Peters tells Brownfield the recent announcement that the Illinois Department of Agriculture would add four field veterinarians to specifically focus on animal disease and animal health initiatives is good news. 

But, it’s just the first step. “We want to continue to focus on what resources are needed and what programs need to be rolled out to elevate that animal disease awareness and preparedness for all species and all livestock producers here,” he says.

Brownfield spoke with St. Peters at the Illinois Beef Associations’ recent Summer Conference. 

AUDIO: Josh St. Peters, Illinois Beef