Morning Farm Scene Colorado agriculture cattle

Cattle grazing on a Colorado ranch.

A congressional advisory panel is visiting Colorado State University this week to hold a forum on biological defense.

The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense started in 2014 and its members include six former federal officials, including senators, homeland security advisors, and a secretary of homeland security.

The forum takes place amid a widespread disease outbreak among pigs in China.

“Sixty percent of all the pigs are either already infected or they're just killing them," said the commission’s executive director, Asha George, according to The Denver Channel. “That’s a huge, huge hit.”

“Colorado State is right in the middle for good planning for that experience,” Commissioner Tom Daschle, the Democrat from South Dakota and former U.S. Senate minority leader, said. “With the resources and leadership to understand and study animal health.”

Kansas State University is the only other venue for the commission’s forums, according to Daschle.

The commission recommended in 2015 that Congress conduct oversight for protection of the food supply, animal disease reporting and major biological threats, among other areas.

Gov. Jared Polis wrote on Facebook that the forum would be “an important discussion with leading experts on both natural outbreaks and bioterrorism.” He added, “Together we can avert the zombie apocalypse.”

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