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Software assesses terror threat … to cows

Software developed at the federal Sandia National Laboratories could help farmers keep the nation’s dairy supply safer from bioterrorism. The system asses factors such as dairy location, numbers of buildings, how many cows there are and the types of shelters present. It then provides a risk assessment. Dull, you say? Maybe. But dairy is a multibillion dollar industry in the U.S. and no one wants to eat anthrax-tainted ice cream.

Global population says ‘Pass the chicken’

Meat-eating is on the rise around the globe, a trend that could raise the risk of animal disease spread across borders, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said this week in a document circulated at a meeting on meat and dairy products. Worldwide meat consumption is expected to grow by 2 percent each year until 2015 — the result of population increases, rising incomes, and the movement of people from rural areas to cities. “However, increased volume of trade and improvements in transportation, infrastructure and technology hold potential risks of spreading of animal diseases rapidly worldwide,” FAO warned.