Essay on A Biological Warfare Attack On Agriculture

779 Words Aug 21st, 2015 4 Pages
A biological warfare attack on agriculture is based on the motive of all terrorist attacks; to elicit fear and anxiety among the public (Roberge 2015, n.p.). With this in mind, terrorists have many avenues of attack in regards to our agriculture and food industries. Each section, or characteristic, of this industry have its own areas of security control as well as unique security weaknesses. How then could a terrorist attack our agriculture and food industries and how do these characteristics increase our risk?

One characteristic of our food industry is farm animals such as swine and cattle herds and is threatened, for example, by the introduction of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). This disease can be spread animal to animal via airborne transmittal for a distance of 50 miles (Olsen 2012, n.p.). This viral disease is highly contagious and can infect, all cloven-hoofed animals – swine, cattle, sheep, deer and goats to name a few. The introduction of the virus would be as easy as infecting hay with the virus and placing it in with the targeted animals. Most affected animals will not die from FMD, but the disease leaves them weakened and unable to produce meat and milk the way they did before being infected (APHIS 2013, n.p.). Naturally, an outbreak of this disease would result in a wave of export refusal of American meat products of that animal as well as social panic. Loss of export, means damage to the economy as well as the cost to destroy the infected animals and disease…

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