Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States
Issue Areas: Ecological Change and Emerging Diseases, Health Education, Infectious Diseases, Public Health

Diseases of terrestrial, avian and aquatic life influence a number of global security issues — food for an increasing world population, access to international trade, species conservation and protection of those endangered, and economic growth in developing and re-organizing nations. Because many animal disease agents are zoonotic (transmissible between humans and animals, causing infection in both species), their management and prevention are crucial to improving public health on a global scale. Moreover, animal diseases raise arms control concerns through the potential use of animal pathogens in bio-terrorism and economic espionage. The Role of Disease Surveillance in the Watch for Agro-terrorism or Economic Sabotage FAS addresses these issues through public education and international collaboration.

The project’s operational arm, ILIAD-Tanzania, is a pilot test of a surveillance system designed for remote rural areas in developing or reorganizing countries. Eschewing passive surveillance in favor of a pro-active, response-oriented, continuously operating network that begins at the village level, this system offers the promise of timely and accurate disease detection, diagnosis, prevention, and control. As a fully collaborative program between veterinary service workers, local farmers, wildlife conservation personnel and local governments, it provides a logistical framework for treatment, education and outbreak reporting. It is anticipated that the program will, over time, alleviate poverty in remote villages by increasing livestock and poultry production, control zoonotic diseases in human populations, and prevent disease epidemics in wild animal populations.