Keywords: agroterrorism, animal pathogens, biological threats, preparedness, prevention, recovery, response, risk assessment, risk management, vulnerability, biosecurity, biological security, animal diseases
Risk assessment and management of animal disease-related biosecurity
Animal agriculture is vulnerable to both intentional and unintentional biological threats. Outbreaks, especially intentional attacks, could cause enormous consequences extending well beyond agriculture. Nations, including the USA, are consolidating and coordinating efforts to protect against these biological threats. The efforts employed largely fall into the categories of ex ante prevention/preparedness and ex post response/recovery. The optimal mix across these strategies depends on the event probability, expected economic consequences, costs and effectiveness of strategies, and disease spread rates along with other factors. We review the literature discussing vulnerability and mitigation strategies and issues of relevance to agricultural security and then develop strategic recommendations based on economic analyses. These recommendations address (1) what categories of mitigation strategies are likely to be most effective (2) what implementation obstacles exist and how these implementation challenges could be managed or overcome and (3) what leverages can be done on technology, scientific advancement and education.