Annual United States Animal Health Report (for 2004)

By the USDA's APHIS - This article is the first report on the status of animal health in the United States. As an annual publication, the Animal Health Report will be updated and refined each year to ensure that it addresses issues of current importance to its stakeholders. Here we provide the introduction, contents and a link to the full report.
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2004 U.S. Animal Health Report - By the USDA's APHIS - This article is the first report on the status of animal health in the United States. As an annual publication,the Animal Health Report will be updated and refined each year to ensure that it addresses issues of current importance to its stakeholders.


The United States has vast domestic and wildlife animal resources. Maintaining their health is of utmost importance. Historically, the United States has been blessed with an abundance of safe food and has prevented the establishment of many foreign animal diseases and eradicated several important domestic animal diseases. These successes, however, have brought new challenges to maintaining a healthy animal population, including increased global trade, larger and more concentrated animal populations, and the potential for complacency in assuming that our domestic and wild animal populations will always be healthy.

This report - a national overview of domestic animal health in the United States for 2004 - is a direct result of an external review of the Nation's animal health safeguarding system. The Animal Health Safeguarding Review assessed the performance, processes, and procedures used to ensure the success of the mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS) program: to protect and to improve the health, quality, and marketability of our Nation's animals, animal products, and veterinary biologics. The review, completed in October 2001, presented a number of specific recommendations:

  • Develop an annual APHIS¨CVS animal health report.
  • Create a national surveillance system.
  • Provide a framework for a national surveillance system.
  • Communicate surveillance findings to stakeholders.
  • Expand the role of the Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH) as the Nation's epidemiologic reference center.
  • Expand participation in international animal health discussions and activities.

In 2004 - in response to a Canadian case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in May 2003 and the December 2003 discovery of BSE in a Canadian cow in Washington State¡ªAPHIS, USDA¡¯s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed an enhanced national BSE surveillance plan. This one-time effort calls for the testing of as many animals as possible from the targeted high-risk populations during a 12- to 18-month period. This report highlights this and other initiatives and provides insight into the Nation¡¯s animal health surveillance activities. Within its eight chapters, the report addresses the many components of the U.S. animal health infrastructure, animal populations, new initiatives, and approaches to foreign animal disease (FAD) surveillance.

The U.S. animal health infrastructure is a multifaceted network of Federal, State, and private entities, working in concert to ensure the continued health and vitality of the Nation¡¯s livestock commodities and the wholesomeness and safety of its food. In addition, the network reaches beyond U.S. borders via APHIS’ International Services (IS) unit. IS cooperates in surveillance, eradication, and control programs in foreign countries in which economically significant pests or diseases are found. IS also plays a major role in ensuring that U.S. agricultural exports are accessible to foreign countries.

To ascertain the geographic distribution of U.S. livestock, poultry, and aquaculture commodities, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the Census of Agriculture every 5 years. Probability-based population surveys are conducted periodically (monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually) to provide the most up-to-date inventories and production estimates.

This report highlights new initiatives in the numerous U.S. animal disease and eradication programs and provides updates on some individual, long-standing ones. For example, VS is actively addressing the support of epidemiologic investigations with the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Goals for the system include coordinating the establishment of species-specific working groups, supporting the development of State premises systems, and developing a national allocation database for Premises Identification Numbers. In addition, to coordinate the development of the National Animal Health Surveillance System, VS created a National Surveillance Unit (NSU), which is located within CEAH.

I offer you this report as a valuable source of information on the state of U.S. livestock, poultry, and aquaculture commodities as well as the programs and strategies used to ensure their continued health.

John R. Clifford
Deputy Administrator
Veterinary Services
Washington, DC


Chapter 1 - Animal Health Infrastructure in the United States

  • Introduction
  • Federal Animal Health Services
    • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
    • Other Federal Animal Health Services Agencies
  • State Animal Health Authorities
  • Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Federally Accredited Veterinarians
  • USAHA and Other National Associations
  • Working With Other Nations’ Animal Health Infrastructures
Chapter 2 - Demographics of U.S. Livestock, Poultry, and Aquaculture Production in 2004
  • Available Statistics
  • Number of Farms
  • Relative Magnitude of Industries by Value of Production
  • Introduction to the Livestock, Poultry, and Aquaculture Industries
  • Cattle and Calves (Beef and Dairy)
  • Milk Cows—Dairy
  • Beef Cows
  • Cattle on Feed
  • Hogs
  • Sheep and Goats
  • Poultry Industry
  • Equine Industry
  • Fish and Other Aquaculture Products
  • Honey Production
  • Miscellaneous
  • Number of Livestock Slaughter Plants in the United States
Chapter 3 - Animal Disease Eradication and Control and Certification Programs
  • Eradication Programs
  • Scrapie in Sheep and Goats
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Eradication in Cattle and Cervids
  • Pseudorabies in Swine
  • Brucellosis in Cattle and Bison
  • Control Programs
  • Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Cervids
  • Johne’s Disease in Cattle
  • Trichinae in Swine
  • Swine Health Protection Inspection Program
Chapter 4 - Animal Health Initiatives
  • BSE Enhanced Surveillance Plan
  • High-Risk Population Estimates
  • Sample Collection
  • Education and Outreach
  • NAIS
  • Premises Identification
  • Animal Identification
  • ISA
  • Infectious Disease Standards
  • Biosecurity and Surveillance
  • Program Implementation
  • Reference
Chapter 5 - Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) Prevention, Surveillance, and Emergency Response
  • Prevention Methods
  • FAD Surveillance and Investigations
  • FAD-Specific Surveillance Programs
    • END
    • 2002–03 END Outbreak
    • Avian Health Program
    • BSE Program
    • Cattle Tick Program
    • Tropical Bont Tick
    • Screwworm Eradication
    • CSF Surveillance
  • National Veterinary Stockpile (NVS)
  • The Changing World of Emergency Management
  • FAD Emergency Response
  • Overview
  • NAHEMS in Detail
Chapter 6 - Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) Status Evaluations: Regionalization, Risk Assessment, and Rulemaking
  • Background
  • Initiation of the Regionalization Process
  • Data Evaluation Process
  • Verification Through Site Visits
  • Risk Assessments
  • Rulemaking
Chapter 7 - U.S. Export Certification Procedures
  • Overview
  • Export Health Certificates and Health Statements
Chapter 8 - Epidemiologic Events in 2004
  • Avian Influenza (AI) in the United States
    • HPAI Surveillance in Washington State
    • High - Pathogenicity AI Outbreak in Texas
  • Washington State BSE Case Investigation
  • Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC)
    • 2004 SVC Occurrences
    • Surveillance in 2003–04
    • Current Status of Import Protocols
Appendix 1 - Commodity Tables
Appendix 2 - Tables on FAD Investigations
Appendix 3 - Animal Health Contacts in the United States
Appendix 4 - Key U.S. Animal Health Web Sites
Appendix 5 - Acronyms and Abbreviations


The U.S. animal health infrastructure is a complex network of activities, programs, and people that includes but is not limited to

  • Livestock producers and markets,
  • Transporters,
  • Veterinarians,
  • Processors,
  • Stakeholder organizations,
  • Diagnostic and research laboratories,
  • Manufacturers of animal drugs and vaccines,
  • Importers and exporters,
  • Colleges and universities, and
  • Multiple regulatory agencies.

This network responds to animal health issues, scientific, economic, and political conditions pertinent to consumers, public-health issues, and trade interests as well as environmental, wildlife, food-safety, and animal-welfare concerns.

By implementing measures that mitigate risks and deter hazardous activities, the U.S. animal health infrastructure works to ensure healthy animal populations, wholesome and safe food supplies, rapid response to animal health emergencies, effective disease control programs, functional surveillance and reporting systems, and the expansion of export markets. Among the key components of the infrastructure are

  • Federal animal health services,
  • State animal health authorities,
  • Diagnostic laboratories,
  • Federally accredited veterinarians,
  • The United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) and other animal health organizations, and
  • The global animal health infrastructure.
These organizations and facilities directly improve animal health, work toward eliminating disease risks, and limit transmission of diseases from animal to animal and from animals to people. Success requires cooperation across the network.

Federal Animal Health Services

Ensuring the health of U.S. livestock is the responsibility of many Federal agencies, most of which are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (fig. 1). Each agency is charged with specific tasks and responsibilities, and all work to protect the health and vitality of U.S. agriculture through established rules and regulations.

Federal animal health and food-safety regulations are outlined in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFR, which is revised annually, codifies regulations developed by Government agencies under laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. Animal health and food-safety regulations are detailed in Titles 9 and 21 of the code (9 CFR, 21 CFR). Before adoption, proposed regulations appear for public review and comment in the Federal Register, which is published each business day. All proposed rules that may impact U.S. trade in livestock and animal health products are also provided to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to allow for comment by foreign governments and overseas suppliers. Further, VS publishes Uniform Methods and Rules, which are minimum program standards for the implementation of specific animal health programs covered by regulations.

Further Information

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Source: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - August 2005

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