Incident Response Planning for Selected Livestock Shows

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2012-02-14

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Abstract

Incidents affecting the livestock industry are unavoidable in today's society. These incidents can happen at livestock shows across the country putting thousands of exhibitors, visitors, employees and livestock in danger. The purpose of this study was to determine local officials' perceptions and awareness of incident planning and response pertaining to selected livestock shows. Little research has been completed in this area; therefore, this foundational study was needed.

The objectives of this study were to determine local officials' awareness of livestock shows and incident response plans for those livestock shows. In addition, the researcher wanted to describe the roles of local officials in incident planning and response at livestock shows. Level of communication and perceptions of challenges at livestock shows and among local officials were also evaluated. Lastly, the researcher wanted to describe local officials' recommendations for effective incident planning and response related to livestock shows.

Five participants remarked on the value of this study and agreed to participate. These participants included livestock show officials involved in incident planning and response or local emergency management officials. Each participant was interviewed, and then data were transcribed and categorized to consensus. Nine themes arose including: background information, challenges, communication, example incidents, executing incident response, incident response planning, incident response training, miscellaneous and need for planning.

It was concluded that all participants were aware of the selected livestock shows. However, levels of awareness varied by participant due to work-related experiences with the livestock show. The two livestock show participants were aware of specific incident response plans for the livestock show, while the three local emergency management officials were aware of city emergency management plans. Each participant remarked upon their roles in planning and executing incident response. In addition, communication was thought to be one of the key factors to successful incident planning and response. Challenges ranging from lack of communication to training for incident response were stated. Lastly, participants remarked on recommendations for others planning for incident response at livestock shows. These recommendations included communication, preplanning, building relationship with key stakeholders, training, and a need for more planning and research in this area.

It is recommended that this study be replicated with scaled objectives for measuring awareness of livestock shows and incident response plans. Also, replicate this study to determine level of training in incident response and safe handling of livestock. It is recommended to describe communication between livestock shows and local emergency management officials. Lastly, it is recommended to replicate this study with regional livestock shows and state fairs.

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