USDA Looking at Different Path for FMD Response in the USFri, 10 Feb 2012 11:46:08 CST
Flying under the radar, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA is signaling a significant change in its response to a potential Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak, recognizing that suppressing a widespread outbreak in a timely manner would be difficult to achieve, and too costly for both the industry and for the government.
We have not had a case of FMD in the US since the 1920s- but we have watched millions of animals destroyed in other countries like the United Kingdom in recent years in an effort to bring the disease under control. Click here to read more about the 2001 outbreak of FMD in the southern part of Great Britain.
To this point, the plan on the books for the US is if FMD was discovered- to depopulate animals in an infected area- indemnify owners of those animals and attempt to control all movement in and out of infected areas.
At the recent Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, the Chief Veterinarian for USDA, Dr. John Clifford, explained that extensive vaccination is the direction that USDA wants to take the country in case of a potential FMD outbreak. He adds that a massive depopulation campaign in the immediate aftermath of an FMD or other foreign animal disease event “wouldn’t be tolerated and we can’t afford it, frankly, and we can’t even do it.” Because FMD poses no threat to human health, Dr. Clifford believes that “animals recovered from FMD should be able to be slaughtered and the meat used."
Comments from Dr. John Clifford's presentation at the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville are heard in this special edition of the Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the listen bar below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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