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Indiana State Board of Animal Health

BOAH > Species Information > Companion Animals (Dogs, Cats) > Disaster Preparedness > Animal Health Emergencies Animal Health Emergencies

Preparedness for animal disease outbreaks has been a top priority for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) for decades.  An outbreak of a highly contagious animal disease in Indiana may have economically devastating ramifications as well as public health or food safety and security consequences.

Foreign Animal Diseases

A foreign animal disease (FAD), or exotic animal disease, is a disease that is not currently found in the United States.  The FADs of greatest concern could cause significant illness or death in animals or cause extensive economic harm by eliminating trading opportunities with other countries and states.  These diseases would greatly impact the livelihood of Indiana's farmers and rural communities.

Several BOAH veterinarians, as well as the local U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarians, have completed foreign animal disease diagnostician training at the Plum Island federal animal disease center in New York.  This facility offers specialized, hands-on training in diagnosing animal diseases not known to exist in this country.  Indiana's trained foreign animal disease diagnosticians are located throughout the state and are available 24 hours a day to investigate suspected cases of a FAD.  An investigation is triggered when the State Veterinarian receives a report of animals with symptoms indicative of a FAD or when a diagnostic laboratory identifies a suspicious test result.  The State Veterinarian assigns a diagnostician to investigate the case immediately.

Early detection of a highly contagious animal disease and prompt reporting are critical to a successful response.  BOAH works with private practice veterinarians so they can identify the symptoms of these diseases when they examine farm animals.  Suspected foreign animal diseases should be immediately reported to your veterinarian or an animal health official.  To contact the Board of Animal Health about a suspected FAD,
call (317) 544-2401 Monday through Friday 8am-4:30pm or (877) 747-3038 after hours.

Biosecurity Awareness

"Don't Track It Back!" has been the biosecurity mantra of BOAH. The three-point campaign reminds animal owners of the most basic steps to biosecurity every livestock owner should practice:

  1. If you've had contact with the general public: Change your shoes.
  2. If you've been to a market, sale barn or fairground: Change your clothes and shoes.
  3. If you've been to another farm operation: Shower, plus change your clothes and shoes.

For more information about biosecurity click here .


Disaster Preparedness Training Opportunities for the Public
BOAH and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (formerly the State Emergency Management Agency) offer a number of training and education opportunities for Emergency Management, Extension, Animal Control, veterinary providers, producers and others interested in preparedness.

Purdue University Graduate Certificate Program in Veterinary Homeland Security
Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine presents the Graduate Certificate Program in Veterinary Homeland Security.  The program is a cooperative effort among the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, the Indiana State Police and many others.  USDA-APHIS has declared the curriculum in compliance with National Animal Health Emergency Management System (NAHEMS) Guidelines. The Veterinary Homeland Security Graduate Certificate Program is designed to meet the needs of individuals involved in animal emergency response. Individuals with expertise in veterinary medicine, public health, animal science or homeland security are encouraged to participate.