Vol. 20, No. 13

April 5, 2001

UD institutes precautionary measures on campus farm

Access to the University of Delaware farm in Newark is restricted, effective immediately, purely as a precautionary measure, in light of the potential for the introduction of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in this country.

Consistent with USDA recommendations, the University has adopted the restricted access policy, which was developed in cooperation with H. Wesley Towers Jr., Delaware state veterinarian. Similar policies are now in effect at some schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Under the policy, gates to the main entrances of the farm–just east of the Chesapeake Bay Girl Scout Council headquarters and west of the USDA Beneficial Insects Laboratory–are closed. (Access to the Girl Scout Council headquarters will not be affected.)

Signs are posted at these entrances to inform the public of the restricted admittance and to identify contacts for persons requiring access.

Students enrolled in classes that meet on farm premises have been individually informed by an e-mail message that if they were abroad during spring break, which ended April 1, they should contact the farm manager before going on the farm. Students will be continuing their on-farm activities, but these activities will be consistent with the restricted access policy.

Before entering the farm, vehicles will be disinfected at a wash station, located in front of the Allen Laboratory. Before entry, personnel using the farm, including faculty, staff and students, will be provided disposable coveralls and boots to be worn while working with or in proximity to animals. Upon exit, the disposables will be left at designated sites.

Ag Day and Cooperative Extension activities will be modified so there is no public access to UD's livestock facilities.

A fact sheet on FMD has been developed, and information is available at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources web site at [http://.ag.udel.edu/].

For more information on UD's farm policy, contact John K. Rosenberger, chairperson of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, telephone (302) 831-2524, or Susan Baldwin, Agricultural Communications, telephone (302) 831-1355.

For information on FMD, contact the state veterinarian at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, (302) 739-4811.

–Ed Okonowicz

Photo by Kathy Flickinger