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Homeland Security

Food, Agriculture, and Veterinary Defense Division


The Food, Agriculture, and Veterinary Defense Division (FAV Defense) works with all levels of government and the private sector to lead Department efforts in ensuring the security of our nation’s food, agriculture, human and animal health in the face of all hazards. The Division strives to establish federal, state, local, tribal, private and public partnerships.


FAV Defense's mission to secure our nation's food, agriculture, and veterinary public health sectors is critical in the event of a threat. A realized threat to our nation's food could have serious consquences to our economy, critical infrastructure (farm land, commercial trade centers), and result in extensive loss of life.

A food or agriculture incident can span several states, straining regional resources and impacting governments at all levels. A significant contamination could inhibit military response in an infected zone, in which case the Department would be required to oversee a multi-agency coordinate response. The FAV Defense Division is preparing for this type of scenario by:

  • Leading the implementation of the defense of the nation's food supply, as defined by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9;
  • Developing a collaboration portal, through the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) MAX, which supports communication between Department components, the private sector, and federal, state, and local stakeholders;
  • Leveraging the knowledge and experience of Centers of Excellence at University of Minnesota's National Center for Food Protection and Defense, and Texas A&M University's National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense;
  • Providing veterinary subject matter expertise for Department surveillance systems' BioWatch and the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC);
  • Collaborating on issues related to the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, Pandemic Influenza roles and responsibilities, zoonotic disease initiatives and oversight of Department of Homeland Security working animals related to occupational health and safety issues.


The FAV Defense Division is led by Dr. Tom McGinn, D.V.M.

Last Published Date: August 1, 2012
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