The Secure Zoo Strategy (SZS) was introduced to the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) community at the 2015 annual conference. SZS is an on-going effort of the Zoo and Aquarium All Hazards Preparedness (ZAHP) Response and Recovery Fusion Center, a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Based upon the successful industry-driven Secure Milk, Secure Pork and Secure Poultry programs, SZS provides a path forward for planning with the ultimate goal for business continuity in the face of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. The SZS combines the expertise of many members of AAZV, AZA, USDA, Zoological Association of America (ZAA), state veterinarians, and other stakeholders to produce guidance addressing reasonable alternatives to traditional mitigation strategies for the industry in the event of a foreign animal disease (FAD) or other hazard.
SZS is a process to develop preparedness and response plans for FAD events. It encourages the establishment of specific goals, which drive the planning process. Goals will differ between exotic animal industry facilities, and each facility should share their goals up front with the stakeholders involved in their planning process.
This presentation will share the basic steps described in the SZS, and demonstrate a mapping tool that uses Google Earth as a common platform. The legend has been developed to utilize the same terminology that State Animal Health Officials are already familiar with from the other secure programs. This virtual view of the facility will be important for planning efforts, and critical if FMD is detected near the facility.
State and federal governments, and the agricultural industry have dedicated an incredible amount of time and resources to FMD disease planning. Adoption of a SZS, with its recommended steps, will increase the level of preparedness in a facility and open or strengthen lines of communication among responders, with the overall goal of business continuity and recovery.