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Animal Health Emergency Management

The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, signed by President Bush in 2006 requires that local and state emergency preparedness authorities include plans for pets and service animals in their disaster plans in order to qualify for grants from FEMA. The Agency understands that successful emergency response plans for people often depend on the plans for those peoples’ pets and livestock. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture plays an important role in emergency response related to companion animals and livestock. The Agency's partners in all hazard response initiatives include other state and federal agencies, the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association, and local animal emergency response groups such as the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Teams.

Accomodating Pets in Disasters

State Level Emergency Preparedness Efforts

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is the co-lead for State Support Function (SSF)11 within the State Emergency Operations plan (SEOP).  The SEOP designates the Vermont State Veterinarian as Team Leader for SSF11 during a statewide response to an emergency that impacts Vermont's animals. 

In order to carry out this responsibility, the Agency of Agriculture has developed general and subject-specific emergency plans that guide activities during response to and recovery from a Vermont emergency.  Click on the links below to view these plans:

SSF11 Plan

Animal Disaster Emergency Plan

Avian Influenza Response Plan

Contagious Disease Response Plan

Food Emergency Response Plan - DRAFT

Regional Emergency Preparedness Efforts

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets also partners with the other New England states in the New England States Animal Agriculture Security Alliance (NESAASA).  This regional collaborative effort, the Charter for which was signed by the six New England Governors in 2010, is continually involved in emergency preparedness efforts intended to protect New England's animal agricultural industries.  To learn more about NESAASA, and the current Secure Milk Supply project that it is undertaking, please visit the NESAASA website.  

National Emergency Preparedness Efforts

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets utilizes a national framework of emergency response guidelines and plans to streamline responses to Foreign Animal Disease outbreaks or other significant emergency events impacting agriculture and that extend outside of Vermont's borders.  For more information on these national resources, please visit the Iowa State Center for Food Security and Public Health.

Secure Food Supply Plans

Secure Food Supply Plans are designed to provide business continuity in the face of a foreign animal disease outbreak. The efforts are funded by USDA-APHIS National Preparedness and Incident Coordination (NPIC), and is a collaborative effort between the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety at the University of Minnesota, the University of California--Davis, federal and state government personnel, and industry.

The overall goals of the Secure Food Supply projects are to:

  • Avoid interruptions in animal/animal product movement to commercial processing from farms with no evidence of infection during a foreign animal disease outbreak;
  • Provide a continuous supply of safe and wholesome food to consumers; and
  • Maintain business continuity for producers, transporters, and food processors through response planning.