NCBA Veterinarian Kathy Simmons Says Protecting Our Ag Animals Health Is a 3-Legged StoolMon, 09 Mar 2020 15:15:33 CDT
On today’s Beef Buzz, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director, Ron Hays spoke with Dr. Kathy Simmons, chief veterinary officer for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for an update on the animal health provisions of the 2018 farm bill. Dr. Simmons said it really is a three-legged stool which includes funding for an animal health laboratory network, animal vaccine bank and a preparedness program.
The key disease that was focused on during the 2018 farm bill discussions is Foot and Mouth Disease- and while the United States has not had a case of FMD since the 1920s- watching other countries deal with it over the last ten to twenty years has caused a lot of worry about “What if” the US should have a case discovered in our hog or cattle herds. As a result, the organizations that represent animal agriculture pushed hard for the authorization and funding- and Dr. Simmons said with those dollars now available- the USDA is in the process of asking drug companies how much vaccine they can provide at what cost.
Identifying various strains is difficult, Simmons said.
“It’s a scientific educated guess,” Simmons said. We have virologists on staff looking at the top 10 or 12 strains that are at-risk for coming into this country. All of this is confidential as there is always the bioterrorism concern, Simmons said.
Preparing for an animal disease outbreak is also important. Simmons noted the negative impact in other countries of diseases including African Swine Fever that we don’t want in the U.S.
Simmons said they are currently working with the USDA in expanding exercises and preparedness drills.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete interview with Dr. Simmons as she talks with Ron Hays.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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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