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Sep 3, 2005
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Subject: U.S. Emergency Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Response Plan
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 18:25:12 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: [email protected]

From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr., Bacliff, Texas......

I thought it might be interesting for those of you who have not seen
this plan, to do so. So here it is...........

The mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to enhance
the quality of life for the American people by supporting production
agriculture; ensuring a safe, affordable, nutritious, and accessible
food supply; caring for agricultural, forest, and range lands;
supporting sound development of rural communities; providing economic
opportunities for farm and rural residents; expanding global markets for
agricultural and forest products and services; and working to reduce
hunger in America and throughout the world.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible
for ensuring the health and care of animals and plants. APHIS improves
agricultural productivity and competitiveness and contributes to the
national economy and the public health. USDA's Food Safety and
Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for protecting the Nation's
meat and poultry supply--making sure it is safe, wholesome,
unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. These two agencies
have come together to lead USDA's actions in the prevention, monitoring,
and control of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S.
livestock and food supply.
The public knows BSE as "MAD COW DISEASE", a disease linked to human
cases of new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD). USDA knows BSE
as the disease that devastated the livestock industry in the United
Kingdom and shattered consumer confidence in Europe. BSE has affected
international trade and all aspects of the animal and public health
communities. It has called even greater attention to the U.S.
Government's accountability for a safe food supply.
No case of BSE has ever been found in the United States. Since 1989,
USDA has had a number of stringent safeguards in place to prevent BSE
from entering the country. USDA conducts an ongoing, comprehensive
interagency surveillance program for BSE. This surveillance program
allows USDA to monitor actively for BSE to ensure immediate detection in
the event that BSE were to be introduced into the United States.
Immediate detection allows for swift response. As an emergency
preparedness measure, USDA has developed this BSE Response Plan to be
initiated in the event that a case of BSE is diagnosed in the United
States. The Plan details comprehensive instructions for USDA staff as to
who is to do what, when, where, and how in the event that BSE were to be
diagnosed in the United States.


APHIS is responsible for being prepared for potential FOREIGN animal
disease outbreaks. The purpose of such preparation is to provide a
step-by-step plan of action in the event that a FOREIGN animal disease,
such as BSE, is detected in the United States. These plans, often
referred to as "RED BOOKS", provide guidance by outlining certain
actions that should take place, such as identification of a suspect
animal, laboratory confirmation, epidemiologic investigation, and animal
and herd disposition activities. Copies of Red Books for specific
FOREIGN animal diseases are distributed to agency headquarters and each
regional and field office to have in preparation for a disease outbreak.

In 1990, APHIS developed a plan to respond to a confirmation of BSE in
the United States. In August 1996, a joint APHIS-FSIS working group
updated the BSE Red Book in accordance with current science and research
surrounding BSE and the related family of disease called transmissible
spongiform encephalopathies (TSE's). The BSE Red Book is officially
The APHIS-FSIS working group determined that the BSE Red Book, which
detailed laboratory and field activities to be carried out in an
emergency, needed another component. After the March 1996 announcement
by the United Kingdom that BSE was linked to nvCJD, it became apparent
to the working group that the Plan needed to address communication
issues, both internally within USDA and the Federal Government and
externally to the public at large. A confirmed case of BSE would affect
such a vast array of stakeholders-consumers, cattle producers, the food
animal industry, international trading partners, animal and public
health communities, media, and others. Having clear, accurate
information readily available would build trust and credibility and
facilitate any response measures needed. There needed to be a
notification plan. Who was responsible for notifying who, what, when,
and how? The plan needed to identify clear channels of communication as
to ensure immediate collection and dissemination of accurate
The joint APHIS--FSIS working group became formally known as the BSE
Response Team and is responsible for the development of this BSE
Response Response Plan. BSE Response Team members represent a mix of
backgrounds and expertise, including veterinary medicine, food safety,
public health, epidemiology, pathology, international trade, and public
affairs. The Team is coordinatied by two Team Leaders, one each from
APHIS and FSIS, who serve as liaisons and technical advisors to their
respective agencies on regulations and policies regarding BSE.
Over the past 2 years, the BSE Response Plan has been reviewed, edited,
revised, and approved by officials at all levels of APHIS, FSIS, and
USDA. The Plan has also been shared with other Government agencies, such
as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), and other stakeholders, such as the Animal Ag Coalition.
The BSE Response Team monitors and assesses all ongoing events and
research findings regarding TSE's. The Team leaders are responsible for
ensuring that prevention and diagnostic measures are continually revised
and adjusted as new information and knowledge become available.

NOTIFICATION: Roles and Responsibilities


As part of USDA's surveillance program for BSE in the United States,
veterinary pathologists and field investigators from APHIS and FSIS have
received training from British counterparts in diagnosing BSE. FSIS
inspects cattle before they go to slaughter; these inspection procedures
include identifying animals with central nervous system conditions.
Animals with such conditions are considered suspect for BSE, prohibited
from slaughter, and referred to APHIS for examination as explained
Pathologists at APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL)
histopathologically examine the brains from these condemned animals. In
addition, samples are tested using a technique called
immunohistochemistry, which tests for the presence of the
protease-resistant prion protein (a marker for BSE). NVSL also examines
samples from neurologically ill cattle and nonambulatory ("DOWNER")
cattle identified on the farm or at slaughter and from rabies-negative
cattle submitted to veterinary diagnostic laboratories and teaching


Because of their responsibility for examining condemned or BSE-suspect
animals, NVSL is the organization responsible for activating the
notification and BSE response process. It is NVSL that will begin the
activation of the BSE Response Plan. From the time a sample is
submitted, it takes 14 to 18 days to confirm a diagnosis of BSE In the
first 10 to 13 days, pathologists at NVSL have enough information to
either rule out BSE or determine the need for additional tests. If it is
determined that there is no evidence of BSE, the results are added to
the more than 7,500 others that have also been negative. NVSL maintains
these data.
If additional tests do suggest a presumptive diagnosis of BSE, an NVSL
pathologist will hand carry the sample to the United Kingdom for
confirmation. It is at this critical point, when NVSL suggests a
diagnosis of BSE and is preparing to send the sample to the United
Kingdom, that this BSE Response Plan is initiated. The Plan begins the
preliminary notification from NVSL to APHIS.

Prelimanary Notification

The director of NVSL is responsible for immediately notifying the APHIS,
Veterinary Services (VS) deputy administrator when tests suggest a
presumptive diagnosis of BSE.
Once NVSL has made a presumptive diagnosis of BSE, APHIS and FSIS field
activities will also be initiated. APHIS will receive notification
(either confirming or not confirming NVSL's diagnosis) from the United
Kingdom anywhere between 24 and 96 hours. (The international animal
health community has recognized the United Kingdom's Central Veterinary
Laboratory {CVL} as the world's reference laboratory for diagnosing BSE.
Other countries, including Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the
Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland, have all sent samples to this
lab to confirm their first case of BSE).


NVSL will provide all laboratory support in carrying out this BSE
Response Plan and serve as the liaison with CVL. NVSL will prepare its
facility to receive and process additional samples from the suspect
animal's progeny or herdmates or other suspects. NVSL will also
coordinate any other assistance from State or university diagnostic
laboratories if necessary.


Veterinary Services is the animal health arm of APHIS and the program
responsible for carrying out field actions in response to BSE. Upon
notifiction of a presumptive diagnosis from NVSL, the APHIS, VS deputy
administrator immediately notifies the FSIS, Office of Public Health and
Science (OPHS) deputy administrator. APHIS and FSIS deputy
administrators will alert the BSE Response Team and activate the
Response Plan. The VS deputy administrator serves as the liaison between
the BSE Response Team and the APHIS administrator.
The APHIS, VS deputy administrator notifies the APHIS administrator and
the VS regional director of the State from which the suspect animal

APHIS Administrator

The APHIS Administrator immediately notifies the USDA Assistant
Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. This immediate
notification will be followed by an official informational memorandum
from the APHIS Administrator, through the Assistant Secretary for
Marketing and Regulatory Programs, to the Secretary of Agriculture. This
memorandum will be prepared by the BSE Response Team; a draft is
maintained by the Team leaders in the reserved section of their plans.
The APHIS Administrator is responsible for securing indemnity funds for
depopulation of the herd if CVL confirms NVSL's diagnosis.

Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs

The Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, in
conjuction with the Undersecretary for Food Safety, is responsible for
notifying the Secretary. The Assistant Secretary serves as the liaison
between APHIS and Department-level officials.

Secretary of Agriculture

The Secretary has the authority to declare a Federal EMERGENCY if
appropriate and approve funding as necessary. Information will be
provided to the Secretary up the chain of command from the BSE Response

FSIS, OPHS Deputy Administrator

The OPHS Deputy Administrator, together with the APHIS, VS Deputy
Administrator, alert the BSE Response Team leaders and instruct them to
assemble the BSE Response Team and activate the Plan. The OPHS Deputy
Administrator serves as the liaison between the BSE Response Team and
the FSIS Administrator.
The OPHS Deputy Administrator is responsible for notifying the FSIS
regional director in charge of the State from which the suspect animal

FSIS Deputy Administrator

The FSIS Deputy Administrator is responsible for notifying the
Undersecretary for Food Safety.

Undersecretary for Food Safety

The Undersecretary for Food Safety, in conjuction with the Assistant
Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, notifies the Secretary
of Agriculture.

APHIS, VS, Regional Director

The APHIS, VS regional director in charge of the State from which the
suspect animal originated notifies the VS Area Veterinarian-in-Charge
(AVIC) for that State. The regional director is the liaison between VS
field staff and the VS Deputy Administrator at headquarters. In
addition, the regional director shares all information with the BSE
Response Team.


The VS AVIC, in cooperation with State animal health authorities, is
responsible for coordination the field activities surrounding the
emergency response to BSE. The AVIC assembles the local VS staff to
initiate activities outlined in the BSE Red Book including tracing the
progeny and herdmates of the suspect animal and beginning an
epidemiologic investigation. The VS AVIC coordinates with the State
Veterinarian to quarantine the suspect animal's herd of origin. The
State has the authority to order a routine quarantine for a neurological
disease. The BSE Response Team surveyed every State to determine if they
would utilize this authority in the event that NVSL identifies a
presumptive diagnosis of BSE. All States responded that they would issue
a quarantine.

BSE Response Team

The BSE Response Team leaders will notify each team member and instruct
them to assemble in the Situation Room at APHIS headquarters in
Riverdale, MD. The Team leaders are responsible for ensuring that all of
the Team's duties are fulfilled. It is their responsibility to ensure
that the technical information and expert recommendations reach the
decisionmakers in a timely fashion. Together with VS Emergency Programs
staff, the Team leaders will obtain APHIS, VS administrative support
staff in Riverdale, MD, to ready the room for use as BSE headquarters.
The Team will begin gathering and assembling information from APHIS and
FSIS region and field staff. The Team will pull the draft documents from
the third section in the Team leaders manuals and begin filling in
current information as it becomes available.

Public Notification

Should NVSL receive notice from CVL confirming a case of BSE, the next
level of notification is activated. Each player will follow the same
notification protocol as described above for preliminary notification to
confirm the diagnosis of a case of BSE.

BSE Response Team

The BSE Response Team will complete the informational memorandum for the
Secretary. The Team will prepare the letter to the Office of
International Epizootics (OIE), the international animal health
organization, for signature by the APHIS, VS Deputy Administrator. OIE
requires that all countries submit official notification within 24 hours
of confirming a diagnosis of BSE.
The BSE Response Team and the office of the APHIS, VS Deputy
Administrator would coordinate a teleconference to inform all APHIS
regional directors and AVIC'S.
The BSE Response Team and the office of the FSIS, OPHS Deputy
Administrator would coordinate a teleconference to inform all regional
and field FSIS offices.
The BSE Response Team would coordinate a teleconference to notify other
Federal agencies.
The BSE Response Team would coordinate a teleconference to notify key
industry/consumer representatives.
The BSE Response Team and APHIS International Services would notify
foreign embassies.
The BSE Response Team would establish a toll-free 800 telephone line for
industry representatives, reporters, and the public.
The BSE Response Team would coordinate with APHIS Legislative and Public
Affairs and USDA office of Communications to issue a press release the
day the diagnosis is confirmed. The press release would announce a press
conference to be held the morning after the diagnosis is confirmed......



Approved-By: [email protected]
References: <[email protected][]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 08:07:19 -0500
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy <[email protected]>
Sender: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy <[email protected]>
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: hunkering down in the APHIS BSE Situation Room

Dr. Pringle or Anyone, why is it, in the U.S.'s B.S.E. Response Plan, the U.S.D.A. refers to it as a FOREIGN ANIMAL DISEASE. With the feeding and rendering practices of the U.S. over the years, scrapie in the U.S. for years, (it was proven in the defense of Oprah Winfrey trial that neurologically ill cattle went to the renderers showed pictures of sheep heads in 55 gallon drums, along with all kind of road-kill at the rendering plants.)
Why do they call this a Foreign Disease, or a U.K. disease???
Under the circumstances, could it not happen here, because of OUR OWN STUPIDITY???
I also find it odd, that the letters, of the announcement of the first case of BSE, are already drafted and ready to go, for a disease, they say, can't happen here, because of the EXTENSIVE B.S.E. program that has been in place for years.
Under the present circumstances, out of the 900 MILLION cattle raised since 1990, and the examination of ONLY 7,535 brains since 1990, It would have to be a FREAK ACCIDENT, for the U.S. to ever find a case of B.S.E.
I believe, this could be a WORLD PROBLEM, AND COULD HAPPEN ANYWHERE, where the feeding and rendering practices were that of the U.K. or U.S.//////

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
Bacliff, Texas, U.S.A.

tom wrote:

> i am looking now a bizarre Oct 98 internal USDA publication describing a james bond-type US effort to control media


Subject: hunkering down in the APHIS BSE Situation Room
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 01:55:54 -0800
From: tom
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: [email protected]

i am looking now a bizarre Oct 98 internal USDA publication describing
a james bond-type US effort to control media should the long-anticipated
first case of BSE in the US be admitted.

'Players' on the 27 member BSE Response Team are to be flown in from all
over the country to a BSE Headquarters 'situation room' apparently an
underground bunker in Riverdale, Maryland under the command of the
Assistant Secretary of Marketing.

Authentic press releases are already prepared and ready to go out after a
few specifics have been filled in. They are spelled out in a separate
document, the BSE Red Book, aka BSE Emergency Disease Guidelines.

Aphis' National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) activates team
assembly. From the time a bovine brain sample is submitted, it takes
14-18 days to confirm a diagnosis of BSE. In the first 10-13 days, NVSL
have enough information to determine the need for additional tests. If a
provisional BSE diagnosis is made, the sample is 'hand-carried' (are
they going to tell the airline and customs?) to the Central Veterinary
Laboratory in England for confirmation, where they are expecting a 24 to
96 hour turn-around.

I guess that means we can get the white tiger brain analyzed by Friday
despite the 22 year delay to date. Maybe we could throw in a few cougar
brains from NE Colorado too.

A Team Member is designated to silently monitor this listserve and
www.mad-cow.org (among others) -- for what, it doesn't say. The
Freedom of Information Act request from the East Coast consumer group
turned up numerous top-secret USDA downloads from that site and

After 24 hours of secret briefings for 'select industry and trading
partners' (to allow them to take positions on the commodities markets
opposite the 'non-select' industry and trading partners?), a press
conference will be held the next day.

There are plans to trace the cow, its lineage, its herdmates, the
renderer, traceout of product, buyout of herd, farm of origin, to get the
state involved to quarantine the herd (pre-arranged for all 50 states),
expectations for trade bans, notification of OIE within 24 hours, media
800 numbers, spokespersons and backups, notify CDC, FDA, NIH, and many
other commendable activities. The Flow Chart is a sight to behold, I
will try to scan it in tomorrow.

In short, that cow is going to be toast by the time the public first
hears about it.

The Plan does not speak to the scenario in which the CVL says, yes, this
is bovine spongiform encephalopathy all right but it is one of your
strains, not ours. Invoking their Absence of Evidence is Evidence of
Absence principle, there may be no perceived need for public disclosure
in this case.

USDA is caught completely unprepared if BSE first turns up in a US zoo
animal. These animals could easily be diagnosed outside the "system"
and be the subject of a publicity-seeking lab press release. I think
this is a more likely scenario because the US has likely imported many
thousands of zoo animals with advanced infections from Britain and
France and there has been zero monitoring. Unlike with downer cows,
anyone with the right colleagues can get ahold of a fallen zoo animal.
Zoo animals enter the food chain in some cases after being rendered.

Another scenario would be some stock market speculator obtaining the Red
Book and issuing a flurry of bogus but authentic-looking press releases
that included bogus 800 and hacked USDA web links. The press here is so
lazy and so accustomed to putting out public relation handouts as news
that the objectives would be accomplished for a few hour (or days,
depending on the Response Team's paralysis vis-a-vis off-flow chart
events). Some people think a practise run for this happened in the
Indiana case a year or two back.

The first case of nvCJD in an American will also be a public relations
fiasco. In the dim bulb of the public mind, any American with mad cow
disease would have gotten it from eating meat here. USDA has no way to
prove that the victim acquired it on a three week trip to England in
1987. This will sound lame even to the press. All CJD is synonymous with
mad cow disease in the public perception; the more often the different
kinds are explained, the more their suspicions are aroused. The first
case of nvCJD in an American will simply validate what they already know
and just be viewed as an overdue admission from the government.



Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Approved-By: Nora E Wineland <[email protected]>
Message-ID: <"990528151900Z.WT26810.
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 09:05:10 -0600
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy <[email protected]>
Sender: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy <[email protected]>
From: Nora E Wineland <[email protected]>
Subject: More on the USDA:APHIS BSE Response plan

I would like to add some more information from APHIS in response to some recent postings to the list:

Tom Pringle suggests that the 27 member team he labels as the "BSE swat team" be directed at TSE science and education. I would like to clarify that of the APHIS employees designated to travel to our headquarters and assist with the communication aspect of a BSE outbreak only two of us are involved with the TSEs on a nearly full time basis. The others are those in APHIS which have experience working with scrapie, CWD or BSE prevention and surveillance policy. They work either in the field, at headquarters, at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) or the Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH). Their duties include all of our other programs such as preventing the entry of other foreign animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth, Classical Swine Fever, etc., tuberculosis, brucellosis, pseudorabies (etc) eradication, regulating the importation of animals and animal products, facilitating the exportation of healthy animals and safe animal products, as well as the oversight of the veterinary accreditation program. Our webpage at www.aphis.usda.gov can provide you with more detailed information on the multitude of tasks and complexities involved with the APHIS mission.

Linda A. Detwiler
Senior Staff Veterinarian


Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Approved-By: tom <[email protected]>
Message-ID: <[email protected][]>
Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 21:21:34 -0800
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy <[email protected]>
Sender: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy <[email protected]>
From: tom <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: hunkering down in the APHIS BSE Situation Room
In-Reply-To: <"990514144119Z.WT11141.

>"The updated BSE Response Plan has been posted on the APHIS website for months. It was also distributed to the contact list which includes other government agencies, industry and consumer groups. I would hardly call it an internal document. I will only address one of the many misinterpretations in Tom Pringle's posting: In the event of a BSE case, the person assigned to monitoring the APHIS BSE website will keep this site up to date on an almost hourly basis, there is no intention of monitoring the sites of others. If anyone has questions about the document I can be reached as follows:
>Linda A. Detwiler
>Senior Staff Veterinarian
>USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services

Yes, I had four questions:

1. Could you please post on this listserve or the APHIS site the contact list of industry and consumer groups? My concern is that these are not bona fide consumer groups but simply industry-funded shells. It is important as a tax-supported public agency for USDA to promote a level informational playing field.

2. How do I go about getting my name added to this contact list to receive future messages?

3. Could you please post here a list of the "select industry and trading partners" that get the one-day advance warning that mad cow disease has been confirmed in the US? There are many stakeholders in this issue including public health and consumer interests -- I am hoping this list will demonstrate balance. Please add my stockbroker to this list.

4. Could you please post here copies of the press releases that have been made up in advance of this hypothetical event? The facts are not in, how it is possible to issue reassurances to the consumer already? Maybe the actual event won't be all that reassuring.




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