ASI Exercises the SSWS Plan in Colorado
During the exercise, two Colorado sheep producers, a packer, CWGA and CDA came together to test implementation of producer and packer SSWS Plans to meet the Secure Food Supply permitting guidance specific to Colorado. There were more than 20 stakeholder observers from various aspects of industry. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Food Safety and Inspection Service were also present.
This was the first exercise of this kind on the SSWS Plan. It provided an opportunity to discuss how CDA will support Colorado sheep producers who seek to request a movement permit during an FMD outbreak. The exercise identified alignment with sheep industry capabilities, allowed information sharing, and noted gaps in the process which will help Colorado producers and the sheep industry maintain business continuity during an outbreak.
In the coming months, two webinars will be held for stakeholders to discuss exercise lessons learned, share preparedness tips and describe how permitting will be handled during an FMD outbreak. Speakers from ASI, CDA, CWGA, and the Colorado producers and packers that participated in the exercise will take part. One webinar will be for Colorado producers who did not participate in the exercise, and the other on a national scale to encourage other states’ animal health officials to engage with their sheep industry partners to conduct similar exercises.
Look for more details on this exercise and the lessons learned in an upcoming issue of the Sheep Industry News.