Penn Vet Hosts FBI Agro-Terrorism Exercise at New Bolton Center
Friday, October 17, 2008
|A hazardous materials team investigates an area at New Bolton Center during the ATAC 08 exercise.
On October 15, 2008, the Philadelphia Division of the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southeastern Pa. Regional Task Force hosted a multi-agency agro-terrorism full-scale exercise. Known as the Agro-Terrorism Assault on Chester County (ATAC 08), the exercise was designed to test the region’s response to an intentional dissemination of a foreign animal disease (FAD) into the region’s livestock population.
ATAC 08 took place at three area venues: Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., the USS Shreveport
at the Philadelphia Navel Business Center and Chester County Department of Emergency Services in West Chester, Pa.
Representatives from local, state and federal agencies were tasked to work together as they responded to and investigated an outbreak of an FAD and effectively managed information and allocated appropriate resources during the initial phase of an FAD outbreak. The collaborative effort between law enforcement and industry helped ensure all responding parties are aware of their roles and responsibilities in the event of an actual agro-terrorism attack.
ATAC 08 was the result of a series of workshops and training seminars held over the past 18 months. Organizers of the exercise spent more than 12 months planning the ATAC 08 field-training exercise. Along with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies included Chester County Department of Emergency Services, Chester County Department of Health, Pa. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of Pennsylvania and St. Joseph's University.
ATAC 08 was a closed event not open to the public or media. However, a press availability and a demonstration of the materials and equipment utilized for decontamination and weapons-of-mass-destruction response was held at New Bolton Center. You can read the Philadelphia Inquirer’s
coverage of the story here.
Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's premier veterinary schools. Founded in 1884, the School was built on the concept of Many Species, One Medicine. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the School serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients, from pets to horses to farm animals at our two campuses. In Philadelphia, on Penn's campus, are the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for companion animals, as well as classrooms, laboratories and the School's administrative offices. The large-animal facility, New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., encompasses hospital facilities for the care of horses and food animals as well as diagnostic laboratories serving the agriculture industry. The School has successfully integrated scholarship and scientific discovery with all aspects of veterinary medical education.
Visit us on-line at www.vet.upenn.edu