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Diane Publishing Books
Defining Law Enforcement’s Role in Protecting American Agriculture from Agroterrorism
Terry Knowles (au)
American agriculture represents a "soft" target for terrorists. Experts agree that the single greatest threat to our agricultural economy is foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). An outbreak of this highly-contagious viral disease would have a catastrophic effect, including immediate cessation of beef exports, full-scale quarantines, possible destruction of millions of animals, stop-movement orders, and economic chaos (losses upwards to $60 billion). Five primary groups are considered to be threats to agriculture: international terrorists, domestic terrorists, militant animal rights groups, economic opportunists, and disgruntled employees. This in-depth study determined law enforcement's role in protecting against acts of agroterrorism. Through interactive focus groups, input was obtained from law enforcement, livestock producers, meat packers, truckers, feedlot managers, and animal health officials. Research methodology also included two simulation exercises; field surveys; field interviews; and results of preventive measures initiated on a trial basis in Kansas. The research team reached unanimous concurrence that law enforcement has insufficient resources to adequately respond to an FMD outbreak. Law enforcement has remained reactive, if not passive, in acknowledging agroterrorism as a serious threat. Tables and figures.
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