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Simulation exercise: Foot and mouth disease in Australia

Dr Gardner Murray, Chief Veterinary Officer, Australian Government Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, informed us that his country is free from foot and mouth disease (FMD) and that a laboratory simulation exercise on FMD called "Exercise Crucible" will take place in New South Wales (NSW) between 15 and 18 June 2004.

"Exercise Crucible" is designed to test the readiness and ability of NSW Agriculture’s laboratories to respond to an emergency animal disease simulating an FMD outbreak. The exercise will focus specifically on NSW Agriculture’s laboratory network and its co-ordination with the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL).

Participants will face different scenarios to test their decision-making skills, laboratory testing protocols, administrative arrangements and effectiveness of disease control policies and strategies as described in AUSVETPLAN (Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan).

Up to 150 NSW Agriculture laboratory staff, including analytical and research scientists, at Orange Agricultural Institute, Wollongbar Agricultural Institute and Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute will take part in the desk-top exercise.

Exercise Crucible’s Control Team will operate from the State Disease Control Head Quarters at NSW Agriculture’s Head Office in Orange.

“Exercise Crucible” will not include field operations or actual communication with outside organisations or agencies; however mock samples for testing will be transferred between laboratories.

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Animal Health Information Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
information.dept@oie.int

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