Foreign animal diseases (FAD) are diseases of livestock or poultry not found in the United States (U.S.) but can spread quickly and make food animals sick, causing production losses or even death.

If a FAD was detected in the U.S., the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship would respond quickly to protect Iowa’s farmers, stop disease spread, and eliminate the disease if it was in Iowa.

The strategy to protect Iowa and eliminate FADs, when necessary, follows these basic principles:

  • Detect the disease
  • Contain the disease
  • Eliminate the disease

The Department has modeled Iowa’s FAD plans using a similar method that the Federal Emergency Response Agency (FEMA) used when creating Emergency Support Function (ESF) annexes, creating standalone plans for common strategies that can apply to any disease. Doing so has allowed Iowa’s FAD plans to be concise, non-redundant, and flexible while keeping disease-specific plans focused on that given disease.

Department Plans

The following are links and brief descriptions to general Department FAD Response Plans:

General Standstill Order
The concept of a standstill order is to halt the movements and transportation for a period of time of all animals in Iowa susceptible to the disease-causing the outbreak. This allows animal health officials to determine what farms are exposed and not exposed to the disease, eventually allowing movements and transportation to resume for farms not potentially exposed.

Control and Monitoring Zones
Once the exposed farms are identified, disease control areas are established around these farms. This allows animal health officials to further expand their investigation to farms housing animals susceptible to the disease located near the exposed farms.

Quarantining Premises
To stop the spread of FADs, animal health officials quarantine farms potentially exposed to the FAD, legally prohibiting movements on and off the farm. This helps protect the animals on other farms in Iowa from becoming sick with the FAD.

Animal Movement Permitting
Once a farm is quarantined, some movements on and off may be allowed with written authority from state animal health officials. This written authority takes the form of a movement permit. During a response, permitting requirements will be publicly available on the Department webpage.

Cleaning and Disinfection
Animal health officials establish specific criteria to end restrictions on quarantined farms. This may include a process of cleaning and disinfecting the farm’s facilities, equipment, etc. to ensure new animals moved onto the farm do not become sick with the FAD. 

Disease-specific plans can be found on the following webpages:

All of the Department's FAD Response Plans are living documents and regularly updated as new information is learned through scientific discoveries, lessons shared from outbreak responses, and feedback from stakeholders.

Submit an anonymous comment regarding one of the current response plan drafts.

Other Plans and Resources

During a FAD response, IDALS collaborates with other partners including but not limited to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Below are links and brief descriptions for these partner agencies’ animal response resources.

Iowa DNR Foreign Animal Disease Outbreaks
Contains information and guidance for disposing of animal carcasses that have died from disease or disasters.

USDA Animal Health Emergency Management 
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the federal agency regulating animal health for the U.S. and has created numerous resources for responding to FADs found on this webpage.

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) 
The World Trade Organization (WTO) recognizes the OIE as the global expert on animal health and international animal trade. Every member country of OIE collaborates to control and eradicate diseases of animals that can either make people, livestock, or poultry sick, leading to production losses, death, or food insecurity. The United States has been an OIE member since 1945.

AVMA Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals
These American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) guidelines are intended to help members of the veterinary profession make good decisions that support animal welfare in situations where the difficult decision to depopulate has been made.

Considerations for Local Governments and Emergency Managers during Foreign Animal Disease Outbreaks