Consequences of a Foreign Animal Disease on the Rural Community

Course Description:

The food industry, including livestock, is one of the most open industries in North America, and is readily susceptible to outbreaks of Foreign Animal Disease (FAD). FAD could be introduced accidentally – as happened in the UK – or it could be introduced intentionally. History has illustrated that during a FAD, there is massive and widespread depopulation of millions of animals and a major disruption to most related livestock industries. There also are significant ill effects on domestic and export markets for meat and milk, and the potential for a downward spiral for the national economy.

The control of FAD is not a technical challenge – it is a resource management challenge. It is a public relations and an information management challenge. It also can be an endurance challenge, typified in the past by the six months spent working on Foot and Mouth Disease in the UK and more than 450 days spent working on the 1997 classical swine fever outbreak in the Netherlands. We need to understand the risks associated with dealing with FAD, and know what we can do to prevent them or at least reduce their impact.

The social and psychological impact of FAD will be at all levels of society occurring at the national, regional and local or community level. Neighbors will be against neighbors as the disease strikes one and not the other. This will cause numerous conflicts, disputes, family breakdowns and lawsuits. This program will focus on the psychological issues affecting two groups during an adverse animal event: the families directly impacted and those who are called upon to respond. Drawing from his personal and professional experience in England during the 2001 Foot and Mouth disease event, Dr. Van Wie will relate the experiences of livestock producers who lost their animals and their livelihoods, as well as the emotional impact he endured himself as a responder to the event. 

Note: This course was originally delivered as a satellite broadcast.

Target Audience

Academic Faculty/Staff, Federal Government Employees, State Government Employees, Local Government Employees, Non-Government Employees and Students

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how agricultural producers and their communities are at risk during and after an adverse event
  • Identify the early warning signs of mental distress in members of the rural community during an adverse animal event
  • Describe support resources at the federal, state, and local levels
  • Encourage planning for mental health support at the community level well in advance of any such event
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 2.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Consequences of a Foreign Animal Disease on the Rural Community
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Steve Van Wie

Steve Van Wie, DVM
Large Animal Veterinarian (Retired)
Member, USDA Veterinary Services Reserve Veterinary Corps

Dr. Van Wie is a biosecurity consultant and has worked with Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and numerous private entities. Dr. Van Wie spent 2 years as a corporate biosecurity consultant in Wisconsin before assisting development and presentation of several management level courses on agroterrorism preparedness for emergency response personnel offered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for which he is a certified instructor.  A member of the USDA/APHIS Veterinary Reserve Corps, he responded to FMD in the U.K., staying for essentially the duration of the outbreak in 2001.

Available Credit

  • 2.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 2.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Consequences of a Foreign Animal Disease on the Rural Community


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Required Hardware/software

System Settings 
This course is designed to work most effectively if your computer and internet connection meet certain minimal requirements. This course can be accessed using a Windows 10 PC or a Mac with High Sierra1, Mojave, or Catalina. Pop-up blockers should be disabled when viewing the course. Internet Explorer 11 (for Windows 10), or the current version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari (for Windows 10 and or Mac) is required. Many of our courses require Java and JavaScript enabled. 

Links to External Websites   
Links to websites outside this course will open in a new window or tab. Some browsers may minimize the course window. If this occurs, maximize the course window to return to the course. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader (for desktops and laptops)  
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to access some documents in this course. If you need to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.  

Internet Connection Speed 
A minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps is recommended for an optimal experience, which is commonly the speed associated with a basic DSL or a cellular/satellite connection. A faster connection, such as cable or fiber service, with further enhance your online experience. A Wi-Fi connection is generally acceptable, but it is dependent upon one of the two services mentioned above. You can check your internet connection speed at