Shelley Swaim, an animal welfare inspector with the NCDA&CS Veterinary Division, recently completed the four-day Agricultural Emergency Response training offered by the Department of Homeland Security at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala.
The training enables responders to effectively prevent, respond to and recover from real-world incidents involving acts of terrorism and hazardous materials. Swaim has assisted in numerous animal rescue efforts and is a member of the N.C. Veterinary Response Corps.
WMD Basic Agricultural Emergency Response Training is a 32-hour course that provides the responder with an overview of agro terrorism and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive hazards, relative to their potential impact upon agricultural resources and the agricultural community.
Lectures included response actions, epidemiology, zoonotic diseases, foreign animal diseases, animal restraint and euthanasia, and animal carcass disposal. Hands-on training included selecting and using personal protective equipment, conducting decontamination, using survey and monitoring equipment, and preserving the crime scene. The course culminated with a hands-on practical exercise involving a response to a hazardous event in an agricultural setting.