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Global bioterrorism threat analyzed for world animal health office
Date:8/14/2011

Around the globe, many nations are realizing that the potential for bioterrorism isn't just about the U.S., officials say.

And because an intentional introduction of bacteria, a virus or a toxin could happen anywhere, the World Organization for Animal Health is issuing a paper aimed at prevention.

"Any emerging country that is beginning to think about maintaining international trade needs to be aware of the potential for bioterrorism," said Dr. Neville Clarke, special assistant to the Texas A&M University System's vice chancellor of agriculture.

Clarke is lead author of "Bioterrorism: intentional introduction of animal disease," which appears in the animal health organization's journal Scientific and Technical Review this month.

Preventing bioterrorism worldwide

Around the globe, many nations are realizing that the potential for bioterrorism isn't just about the U.S., officials say. See full story at http://bit.ly/qU0FcL

First off, bioterrorism is not new.

The intentional introduction of animal disease dates to the Middle Ages when "diseased carcasses and bodies were catapulted over enemy walls in attempts to induce sickness in humans or animals," Clarke wrote with co-author Jennifer L. Rinderknecht, Texas AgriLife Research assistant.

Throughout time, similar practices ensued until 1975, when more than 160 countries at the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention agreed to prohibit biological warfare programs, the article noted.

But, the authors say, evidence around the world indicates that the "development of biological agents continues in some countries."

Clarke said that those farthest away from being prepared are the developing nations such as in Sub-Saharan Africa and Indonesia. He said the article would be helpful for nations that are wanting to protect their markets as they grow globally.

The article discusses pote
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Contact: Kathleen Phillips
ka-phillips@tamu.edu
979-845-2872
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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