|AHC and TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine
(Austin, Texas - June 22, 2010) - In cooperation
with the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC,) the Texas A&M University
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has recently developed
a mobile Veterinary Emergency Team (V.E.T.) to respond to disasters that
affect animals state-wide.
The new team is deployable under the state animal response plan in a
disaster situation where there is need for additional veterinary assessment,
triage and care. Currently the team is made up of 13 members and consists
of A&M faculty, resident veterinarians, veterinary technicians and
veterinary students who have completed a disaster medicine elective. The
team is fully self-sufficient with their own lodging, food, generators
and supplies for responders. Their equipment includes two large climate-controlled
tents, one multi-purpose trailer and one clinic trailer with limited surgical
capability. The team also has obtained trucks to haul trailers and equipment,
as well as an ambulatory medicine truck. Team members are divided into
strike teams that can be targeted at either large or small animal issues.
"As the lead agency responsible for dealing with animals affected
by disasters, the Texas Animal Health Commission has done an outstanding
job of developing one of the premiere animal issues in disasters plans
in the country. TAHC personnel have brought together an impressive array
of governmental and non-governmental agencies all focused on preserving
the health and welfare of animals. The Texas A&M University College
of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is proud to be part of
this effort. Under the leadership of the TAHC the College of Veterinary
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will field a team capable of assisting
in assessment and providing triage capabilities,” said Dr. Wesley
Bissett, TAMU’s lead faculty member in this effort.
“Our two organizations have put together an impressive array of
equipment and personnel that will have the ability to limit and prevent
animal suffering as disasters occur. In addition, the TAHC has provided
us the opportunity to increase our efforts in teaching emergency response
in the veterinary medical curriculum. Ultimately this will lead to increased
numbers of veterinarians committed to and trained in emergency response.
The end result will be strengthening the foundation of local governmental
emergency response efforts. Texas is a "can do" state and the
Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical
Sciences appreciates the opportunity to play a role in making sure that
we can enhance the efforts of local and state governmental entities during
times of disaster."
The Texas A&M V.E.T.s’ first field exercise was held in College
Station April 23-25. While they are still finalizing the acquisition of
necessary supplies, the team is fully operational and mission-ready in
time for the 2010 hurricane season.
Under the animal response plan, this team will deploy with TAHC field
personnel in a large-scale disaster and will work under the same incident
The Texas Animal Health Commission works to protect the health of all
Texas livestock, including: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, equine
animals, and exotic livestock.