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Simulation exercise: Foot and mouth disease in Australia

Dr Bob Biddle, Chief Veterinary Officer, Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, informed the OIE that a national simulation exercise, Exercise Bendigo '06, will be conducted by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Victoria, at Bendigo from 20 to 22 November 2006.

The exercise will be a simulated response to a hypothetical outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the Bendigo district.

The objectives of the exercise are:

-   To allow staff to practice their skills in their nominated EAD(1) work area (ie. technical, managing staff, planning activities, prioritising);
-   To test effectiveness of communications between field teams and the Local Disease Control Centre (LDCC);
-   To simulate a working environment that best represents real life conditions (ie. time, pressure, climate).

The scope of the exercise includes:

-   A simulated outbreak of FMD in the Bendigo district;
-   Setting up and activation of a small LDCC at DPI Bendigo office;
-   One Infected Premises Operations Team will plan activities for controlling eradicating FMD on a farm to the north of Bendigo;
-   Three field surveillance teams will rotate through locations at the DPI Epsom site and a farm to the north of Bendigo;
-   One mobile Restricted Area Movement and Security team will patrol in the area to the north of Bendigo;
-   Communications between field teams and the LDCC;
-   Simulating LDCC Controller, State Disease Control Headquarters, Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases, National Management     Group, support agencies, risk enterprises and contractors.

(1) EAD: Emergency Animal Disease

Animal Health Information Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)