Table of Contents:



I. Storm Gathering

1. 1918

2. Master of Metamorphosis

3. H5N1

4. Playing Chicken

5. Worse Than 1918?

6. When, Not If

II. When Animal Viruses Attack

1. The Third Age

2. Man Made

3. Livestock Revolution

4. Tracing the Flight Path

5. One Flu Over the Chicken's Nest

6. Coming Home to Roost

7. Guarding the Henhouse

III. Pandemic Preparedness

1. Cooping Up Bird Flu

2. Race Against Time

3. Tamiflu

IV. Surviving the Pandemic

1. Don't Wing It

2. Our Health in Our Hands

3. Be Prepared

V. Preventing Future Pandemics

1. Tinderbox

2. Reining in the Pale Horse


References 1-3,199

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According to the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress , long-distance live animal transport not only places countries at risk for catastrophic disease outbreaks,881 but it makes them vulnerable to bioterrorism as well.882 U.S. animal agriculture has been described as a particularly easy target,883 as “one of the probable threats for an economic attack on this country,”884 according to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and also as a direct attack on our citizenry.

In 2004, the RAND Corporation prepared a report on agroterrorism for the Office of the Secretary of Defense titled, Hitting America’s Soft Underbelly. It blamed America’s vulnerability in part on the “concentrated and intensive nature of contemporary U.S. farming practices.”885 According to the last USDA census in 1997, just 2% of the nation’s feedlots produced three-quarters of the cattle and 1% of U.S. egg farms confine more than three-fourths of the nation’s egg-laying hens.886 Given that “highly crowded” animals are reared in “extreme proximity” in the United States, one infected animal could quickly expose thousands of others.887

The RAND Corporation points out that individual animals raised by U.S. agriculture have become progressively more prone to disease as a result of increasingly routine invasive procedures:
Herds that have been subjected to such modifications—which have included everything from sterilization programs to dehorning, branding, and hormone injections—have typically suffered higher stress levels that have lowered the animals’ natural tolerance to disease from contagious organisms and increased the viral and bacterial “volumes” that they normally shed in the event of an infection.888
Long-distance live transport could then ferry the spreading infection, according to USDA models, to as many as 25 states within five days.889