North Dakota is one of two dozen states setting up  “reserve veterinary corps.”

Veterinarians in the corps are being outfitted with laptops, global positioning systems, digital cameras and other tools necessary to track down, record and monitor a disease outbreak wherever it occurs.

The North Dakota Reserve Veterinary Corps was established a year ago with $25,000 in federal aid. The funding came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from USDA.

According to Larry Schuler, state veterinarian, the program was started so that in the case of an emergency the state would have more trained personnel to mobilize and to raise all veterinarians’ awareness to report anything suspicious. The state veterinarian’s office keeps the volunteer veterinarians informed of changes in the terror alert level, and keeps them apprised of any disease findings or concerns within the U.S. The veterinarians in turn communicate this information to their producer clients. The result is that more people are being kept informed and as a result have a heightened awareness to look for and report any problems that may occur.

Minneapolis Star Tribune