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NCJ Number: 189887 Find in a Library
Title: Agricultural Biological Warfare: An Overview
Author(s): Jonathan Ban
Corporate Author: Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI)
United States of America
Date Published: June 2000
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI)
Washington, DC 20009
Sale Source: Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI)
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document - Designates non-commercial publications, such as Government and gray literature reports.
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The document addresses the Nation’s need to better secure agricultural resources.
Abstract: In the rush to protect the American people and its critical infrastructure from the threat of terrorism, the vulnerability of the Nation’s agricultural resources has been largely overlooked. Yet, historically, anti-animal and anti-plant biological warfare (BW) has been a substantial component of many state BW programs. The growing debate over animal rearing practices and genetically engineered foods should prompt policy makers to focus on the potential threat to national agricultural resources and to identify practical measures to ensure their security. Military planners have long considered livestock and crops potential targets. Many countries have pursued, developed, and even used offensive anti-animal and anti-plant BW agents. Terrorist groups may be motivated to attack plants, animals, or agricultural products to attract attention to a cause, incite fear, disrupt society, or demonstrate a capability with the intent of exacting political concessions. Others may be prompted by different motives -- economic interest, sabotage, or revenge. These attacks could serve their interests for a number of reasons: it is an option for a perpetrator that does not want to kill people; and it is very difficult to distinguish a deliberate agricultural attack from a naturally occurring disease so it has little risk of detection. Agricultural resources are largely unprotected and thus vulnerable to attack; and the technical and operational barriers are relatively limited given that animal and plant pathogens rapidly reproduce and are easily disseminated. The United States Department of Agriculture has made little if any contribution to the Biological Weapons Convention Protocol negotiations despite the numerous plant and animal agents that are included as “listed agents” with biological warfare potential. Although Federal activities to address this vulnerability are growing, the following capabilities should be stressed as crucial aspects of effective preparedness: strategy, contingency plans, surveillance, diagnostics, Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory Capacity, training, cooperation, research and development, and security. 38 notes
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Agricultural crime; Agricultural security; Biological weapons; Rural crime; Rural victims; Subversive activities; Terrorist weapons; Weapons
Note: Downloaded August 10, 2001. URL updated August 30, 2011.
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