A foreign animal disease (FAD) is a disease that is not currently found in the United States. Some FADs may have been in the U.S. in the past, but have been eradicated. The international animal health community has recognized the term transboundary animal diseases (TADs) to describe FADs and other diseases of high consequence that may be endemic in some countries. TADs are defined as "those that are of significant economic, trade and/or food security importance for a considerable number of countries; which can easily spread to other countries and reach epidemic proportions; and where control/management, including exclusion, requires cooperation between several countries." (Transboundary Animal Diseases: Assessment of socioeconomic impacts and institutional responses. FAO 2004.) Many of these diseases have never been identified in our country. The FADs/TADs of greatest concern could cause significant illness or death in animals, potentially cause illness in humans, or cause economic harm by eliminating trade with other countries and states. Incursions of these diseases would greatly impact the livelihood of South Dakota farmers, ranchers and communities.
There are several foreign animal disease diagnosticians (FADD) located throughout South Dakota that are readily available to investigate suspected FAD cases. The FADDs are state or federal regulatory veterinarians with specialized training in investigating, sample collection and diagnosing these diseases.
An investigation is initiated when the state veterinarian receives a report of animals with symptoms indicative of a FAD or when a diagnostic laboratory identifies a suspicious test result. The state veterinarian assigns a FADD to investigate the case immediately. Should a FAD be identified in South Dakota, the Animal Health Emergency response plan would be initiated.
Suspected foreign animal diseases should be immediately reported to your veterinarian or an animal health official. Call the Animal Industry Board at 605.773.3321 or USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services at 605.224.6186.