SeMo Officials Taking Preventative Steps for Possible Agri-Terror Attack

NOVEMBER 2, 2004 - Posted at 7:41 a.m. CDT

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO - The terrorism attacks of September 11, 2001, bring images of burning skyscrapers and cities in chaos.  But rural leaders say the threat is real in agricultural areas, too.

Agri-terrorism could be a disease or a contaminant introduced by terrorists to a plant or animal that can spread to other plants or livestock.

Southeast Missouri State University professor John Kraemer helps run the university's Center for Environmental Analysis.

Kraemer says the first step to preventing agri-terrorism is to monitor the situation abroad, then monitor borders and ports.

He also cites a need to improve methods of inspection and detection, and closer monitoring of places such as processing plants, silos, even farms, sale barns and stockyards.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)