Homeland Security Renews Animal Disease Efforts

Homeland Security Renews Animal Disease Efforts

Funding for programs extended six years.

U.S. Homeland Security has renewed through 2016 efforts to protect the nation from potentially catastrophic animal diseases, some of which are transmissible to humans. Homeland Security says it will continue with a $21 million package to Texas A&M University and Kansas State University. The monies will support the Homeland Security Department's Center of Excellence for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense at the universities.

Based at Texas A&M since 2004, the
National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense has led a consortium of universities and institutions in efforts aimed at protecting American agriculture and public health. During the next six years, the center will co-lead the program with the Kansas State University's Center of Excellence
for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases.

Texas A&M and Kansas State researchers will focus their efforts in four areas over the next six years: 1/ Development of vaccines to counter diseases that could cause catastrophic human illness or seriously impact the economy; 2/ Development of rapid diagnostic methods for identification and detection of foreign animal, emerging and/or zoonotic diseases; 3/ Development of models to simulate disease spread and impact; and 4/ Development of educational programs designed to train first responders and producers in recognition and control of these diseases.

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