News on FMD (Foot & Mouth Disease)
In an effort to keep our members informed, here is the most recent information on FMD from various sources. Please note the dates start from the most recent and go backward.
Most recent - from the United Kingdom
10 million animals were slaughtered in foot and mouth cull
By Robert Uhlig Farming Correspondent
number of animals slaughtered in the foot and mouth outbreak could be as high as
10 million - more than twice as high as official Government figures.
the day that Britain was officially declared free of the disease by the world
animal health organisation, so opening the way for exports to resume, the Meat
and Livestock Commission said that more than six million beasts had not been
included in the official slaughter toll.
Government said that 4,068,000 animals were culled between the first case on Feb 20
and the 2,030th and last case detected on Sept 30
. But the commission says that the true total is 10,849,000.
official figures do not include two million animals slaughtered for welfare
reasons such as dwindling feed and space. The National Farmers' Union included
these in its estimates.
according to Jane Connor, economic forecaster at the Meat and Livestock
Commission, many more animals were overlooked because they were either killed
with their mothers - and counted as only one animal - or because they were
killed after foot and mouth had closed the market for them, in which case they
were not counted at all.
will never know exactly how many were culled but it was many more than the
official figure," Mrs Connor said.
to her calculations, at least 1.2 lambs "at foot" were killed with
each breeding sheep - amounting to four million lambs slaughtered but not
the official toll of 595,000 cattle did not include 100,000 calves and 50,000
calves close to birth that were killed with them, the commission said. About
500,000 lambs were killed in the light lamb disposal plan because they were
night, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed the
commission's figures as accurate but concentrated on the resumption of exports.
Whitty, the food and farming minister, said: "This is a very encouraging
step but we must not lower our guard; there is a great deal of work still to
had resumed within minutes of the International Epizootic Office in Paris giving
its approval, which had not been expected until May.
Gill, president of the NFU, said: "It's great news that this has happened
so quickly and is a testament to everyone who has worked hard to achieve this,
including Government, vets and scientists."
information may be available at the following web site.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Foot-and-mouth could have blown to UK from the Sahara
Britain's foot and mouth epidemic may have been caused by a
cloud of infected
dust blown from the Sahara, say scientists.
They have linked the outbreak to a massive plume of sand that swirled out of
northern Africa several days before the disease was first reported.
The soil there is contaminated with microbes and faeces.
Dr Dale Griffin, of the US Geological Survey, told the Observer: "Satellite
images show a dust cloud moving over the Atlantic and reaching Britain on 13
February. One week later, foot and mouth broke out in the UK.
"Given that the disease's incubation period is seven days, that is one heck of a
Dr Eugene Shinn, another US geological survey scientist, said: "There is no
sewage treatment or proper garbage disposal there - so the soil is heavily
infected with microbes and faeces.
"Cattle there are also infected with the same viral strain, type O, that is
causing foot and mouth in Britain."
Storms frequently carry dust from the Sahara to Britain and their incidence is
increasing, thanks to climate changes.
For years, researchers assumed bacteria, viruses and fungi caught up in such
clouds would be sterilised by the sun's ultraviolet rays. But now scientists
have discovered they may be finding protection against radiation by clinging to
dust and sand particles.
Dr Griffin and his team analysed several dust clouds, and found a wide range of
plant and human pathogens. Crucially, these samples were obtained by making
cultures. "Only live organisms can generate cultures, which shows we are dealing
with microbes that are still infectious after their Atlantic crossing," he said.
See this story on the web at http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_393887.html
Just wanted you all to see that FMD can be contained in many situations when
reaction forces are ready to deal with it!
This from a veterinarian in S Afr:
During sept 2000 ,there was an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in SA , about 1000 km. from us.The spread of the FMD was luckily in an area of about 100 Km.,and did not sread to other provinces ,probably also due to good and correct veterinary policing . A few weeks later there was another outbreak of FMD but another serotype from the first outbreak ,(it was established that there was no link between these two outbreaks ),The location of the second outbreak was 500 km. from the first . The second outbreak was luckily also very well handeled ,and did not spread beyond the border of the farm where the outbreak occured .
David E Anderson, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Associate Professor of Surgery, Food Animal, Ohio State University
Capital letters indicate new material added to existing
HOUSE BILL 01-1378
Passed House on May 9 2001
Passed Senate on May 14 2001
Sent to Gov on May 14 2001
BY REPRESENTATIVE(S) Webster, Hoppe, Alexander, Coleman, Hefley,
Hodge, Jameson, King, Miller, Plant, Rippy, Schultheis, Snook, Spradley,
Tochtrop, White, Boyd, Cloer, Crane, Daniel, Decker, Grossman, Jahn,
Johnson, Kester, Larson, Mace, Mitchell, Ragsdale, Romanoff, Smith,
Stafford, Veiga, Williams S., Williams T., Witwer, and Young;
also SENATOR(S) Dyer (Durango), Chlouber, Epps, Matsunaka, Taylor, and
CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION TO
PREVENT THE SPREAD OF LIVESTOCK DISEASE IN COLORADO.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 35-50-101, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to
35-50-101. Veterinarian - inspectors - stock diseases. Subject to
section 13 of article XII of the state constitution, the department of
agriculture is authorized to appoint a licensed doctor of veterinary
medicine as state veterinarian, who will be an authorized representative
of the department, which officer shall have such title as the department may
prescribe, and said officer shall be under the supervision of the animal
industry division of the department of agriculture. The department is
further authorized to appoint or employ competent PERSONS to
investigate the sanitary conditions, the infectious diseases, and the
contagious diseases THREATENING OR existing among livestock as defined
in section 35-1-102 and to supervise the PREVENTION, control, or
eradication of those diseases. The state agricultural commission is
authorized to issue such orders and to promulgate such rules as it may deem
necessary for specific diseases for any species of livestock
under the provisions of this article, subject to the provisions of article 4
of title 24, C.R.S.
SECTION 2. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds,
determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate
preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.
Signed into law by the Governor on 04/19/2001
which limits damage to livestock at $5,000 in
Capital letters indicate new material added to existing statute.
SENATE BILL 01-054
BY SENATOR(S) McElhany;
also REPRESENTATIVE(S) Rippy, Coleman, Jameson, Larson, Mace,
Plant, Stengel, and Tochtrop.
CONCERNING A LIMITATION ON THE STATE'S LIABILITY FOR
DAMAGE TO LIVESTOCK.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 33-3-104 (1) (a), Colorado Revised Statutes, is
amended to read:
33-3-104. State shall be liable - when. (1) Subject to the
limitations contained in section 33-3-103 and in part 2 of this article, the
state shall be liable only for:
(a) Damages to LIVESTOCK OR PERSONAL
PROPERTY USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF RAW AGRICULTURAL
PRODUCTS, WHICH UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE NO
MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER HEAD OF LIVESTOCK
INJURED OR KILLED, caused by ; BIG GAME; EXCEPT THAT
DAMAGES TO LIVESTOCK SHALL BE LIMITED TO PHYSICAL
TRAUMA RESULTING IN INJURY OR DEATH;
SECTION 2. Effective date - applicability. (1) This act shall take
effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninety-day
period after final adjournment of the general assembly that is allowed for
submitting a referendum petition pursuant to article V, section 1 (3) of the
state constitution; except that, if a referendum petition is filed against
this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then
the act, item, section, or part, if approved by the people, shall take
effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by
proclamation of the governor.
(2) This act shall apply to claims for damages to property caused by
wildlife for which the state is liable under part 1 of article 3 of title
33, Colorado Revised Statutes, filed on or after the applicable effective
date of this act.
Zeroing in on critical challenges
Scheduled to die or already dead - about 2.5 million head. That's the most recent estimate of total slaughters to result from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Europe. Although the number of new infections is waning, FMD is not yet confirmed to be fully under control in the UK or the Netherlands. FMD remains an immediate threat in Europe and an ongoing challenge in more than 70 countries where it is endemic.
The Summit on FMD, June 4 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel in Chicago, is the only independent, multi-source, international program to address FMD's critical challenges. For specific program details, see our website at:
Marcia Riddle Tel: +1.815.734.5633 E-mail: email@example.comSummit on FMD will focus on key questions:
The Summit on FMD, jointly sponsored by Watt Publishing Co. and Vance Food Systems Group, consists of presentations from leading American and European experts on the disease, its economic effects and the best means to deal with it at all levels.
- How serious is the FMD risk to the USA?
- What are the main risk vectors?
- How can we protect North America's animal industries?
- What can we learn from the British and Dutch experience?
- Who is preparing for an FMD outbreak in the USA and how?
- hat immediate and longer term steps can animal producers, practicing veterinarians, feed manufacturers and others in the animal and food industries take to protect their farms, clients, customers and animal products businesses?
If you have specific questions about FMD, our experts will be ready to answer on June 4. Remember: Early registration deadline is May 21, 2001. Register today!
I. No cloven-hoofed animals from a known Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) country or region will be allowed to enter Colorado until six (6) months after the Office of International des Epizooties (OIE) and the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Services, Veterinary Services (USDA, APHIS, VS) have declared a country free from FMD.
II. Horses originating from a FMD country will be denied entrance into Colorado either by direct or indirect shipment, i. e., through another state, until six (6) months after the country of origin is declared FMD-free.
III. Companion animals, e. g., cats & dogs, and exotic animals from a known FMD country or region, that originate from rural areas or those that have had contact with cloven-hoofed animals from a known FMD country and are destined for a Colorado rural location or competition involving cloven-hoofed animals will be denied entrance into Colorado, either by direct or indirect shipment. The only exception will be those animals that originate in an FMD country's urban area and are destined to a Colorado urban area. A prior entry permit will be required on these animals. The permit must be obtained by calling 303-239-4161, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mountain Time, Monday through Friday. Such animals will be immediately bathed upon arrival at the premises of destination after a sponge application or heavy misting with a one-to-one vinegar and water solution to the entire body of the animal. In addition the animal must be quarantined to the premises of destination for a minimum of ten (10) days with no cloven-hoofed animal contact for the quarantine period.
A follow up contact will be made by the Colorado State Veterinarian's Office or USDA, APHIS, VS to make sure the quarantine is being maintained.
IV. Notification of Colorado's FMD preventative measures will be immediately
communicated to USDA, APHIS, VS Emergency Programs and Import/Export Staff in
Riverdale, MD, and the local and national Plant Protection Quarantine (PPQ)
staff and airline companies with flights originating from an FMD country or
area. Colorado livestock industry organizations and public livestock
markets will be notified of the FMD preventative measures.
Colorado-accredited veterinary practitioners and Colorado State University,
College of Veterinary Medicine will be informed of the FMD procedures. An
FMD update will be provided on a periodic basis when a foreign or national FMD
outbreak represents a real or perceived risk of FMD to Colorado livestock.
Vesicular Disease (FMD) Response:
I. Vesicular diseases in cloven-hoofed animals will be handled as FMD except if vesicular stomatitis has been previously diagnosed in a horse. The Colorado vesicular stomatitis protocol will be followed if horses have been diagnosed positive for VS during the typical season for VS.
II. Vesicular disease in a cloven-hoofed animal will be immediately be given the highest priority to be examined and appropriate specimens will be collected by a Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician (FADD). The FADD or other designated courier will personally transport such specimens to Plum Island, NY.
III. The premises and all animals on the premises will be quarantined and information provided to the operator about biosecurity, including all visitors.
IV. A twenty-mile radius "Quarantine Area" will be established that will be comprised of an inner five-mile "High Risk" zone that will be established around the suspect case and an outer fifteen-mile "Buffer Zone" that will be established around the "High Risk" zone. Livestock operators within the "Quarantine Area" will be immediately advised about the suspect case and all premises and animals will be under a hold order pending diagnosis. Movement of all animals in both zones will be restricted to movement by permit only. The main difference between the two zones is that animals will have to be held for a seven-to-fourteen-day observation period in the "High Risk" zone before movement is allowed.
V. All area slaughter/packing facilities, livestock auctions, and markets will be closed until there is a laboratory confirmation that the vesicular disease is not Foot and Mouth disease. If Foot and Mouth disease is confirmed, the markets will remain closed as needed to control the movement of livestock.
VI. Veterinary practitioners, cooperative extension agents, and public livestock operators will be notified of the hold order.
VII. If the diagnosis is not FMD and is in the "High Risk" zone, hold orders will be immediately released.
VIII. An FMD diagnosis would result in a continued quarantine of the "High Risk" premises and animals. The animals within the "Buffer Zone" will be on a hold order and vaccinated with appropriate FMD strain vaccine, if it is available.
IX. Epidemiology investigation will be initiated immediately upon notification of a positive FMD diagnosis. The epidemiology efforts will be in concert with USDA, APHIS, VS.
X. Upon arrival in Colorado USDA, APHIS, VS, Regional Emergency Animal Disease Eradication Organization (READEO) would be in charge of all FMD operations and procedures with State animal health officials assisting them in their efforts.
XI. Immediately the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture will be advised of the FMD diagnosis and requested to contact the Colorado Governor for an emergency declaration. National Guard personnel, Colorado State Patrol, and the County Sheriff will be requested to aid in enforcement of the quarantines and zone integrity to avoid movement of animals and minimize human ingress and egress of the FMD zones.
XII. FMD vaccination will be the preferred action over depopulation. In the case of depopulation, incineration sites will be identified to minimize negative environmental impacts.
XII. Indemnity for depopulated animals will be sought from the United
States Secretary of Agriculture. Records of depopulated animals will
include the owner's name, address, phone number, a count of the depopulated
animals, species, class, sex, age and brands, if branded. Lending agencies
will be notified when indemnity is paid.
These rules currently apply to the European Union* (EU). In addition to the above rules, the rules specifically include the following:
1. Horses originating from all EU countries will be denied entry into Colorado until the country's FMD status is determined to the satisfaction of the Colorado State Veterinarian.
2. Companion animals originating from rural areas in all EU countries, or those that have had contact with cloven-hoofed animals, will be denied entry into Colorado until the countries FMD status is determined to the satisfaction of the Colorado State Veterinarian
*EU countries are The Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Mann), Sweden, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg, and Greece.
This is an online petition about FMD Policy.
"United States Foot and Mouth Policy Must Change"
Actions Taken to Date.
As some of you may know, on Friday, May 4, we, Teri Nilson Baird (CO)
and Marsharee Wilcox (MD), met with legislative staff of a number of
Senators on Capitol Hill to discuss FMDV. Everyone we met with seemed very
receptive to what we had to say. We discussed the current USDA
Emergency Response Plan and the shortcomings we see in the current Plan.
We pointed out how "non-traditional" livestock now exist in the US and that
there is no species-specific risk assessment considered in the Plan.
We discussed the need for species susceptibility (or lack thereof) reviews,
consideration of regional risk factors (eg, the virus would not live as
well in a hot dry climate vs a cool, wet one), the impact of animals
raised for the food chain vs nonfood animals and exportation vs non-exported
livestock. We feel we made headway and got agreement that the USDA "one
size fits all" approach currently being taken is inadequate, unfair, and
will potentially bring on dramatic economic hardship for many people and
unnecessary loss of life.
We learned in March Senator Tom Daschle from SD wrote to Senator Lugar
of IN (Chairman, Agriculture Committee) asking him to hold hearings on the
USDA's response plan. He also signed on to a "Dear Colleague" letter
from Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (CO) recommending a more broad federal
involvement than USDA just planning a response. We were told by Senator
Wayne Allard's (CO) (one of two vets in the Senate) staff that the bill
sponsored by Senator Campbell was done out of concern that the USDA
retained a significant amount of power with the current plan and they
think some of the power should be shifted. That bill passed the Senate and
is awaiting House action.
They are also trying to get an exception made by
President Bush so they can work on this within a task force and avoid
the bureaucratic log jam that may otherwise take place.
We asked all of the contacts we made to re-examine the plan in light of
the many changes in bio-technology, the availability of quick turnaround
testing and synthetic vaccines, and the differing kinds of livestock
being raised as well as quarantine possibilities in the
event of an outbreak.
Most admitted they had never thought about the variety of livestock that
would be impacted, climate factors or carrier risk of various species.
We specifically educated them on the Camelid research that points to the
fact that they are a "low risk" species and requested quarantine be
officially noted as an option for Camelids. Most indicated they would
call the USDA or APHIS on our behalf to question the points that we
brought to their attention.
Additional Federal Action Needed.
We have much more we all need to do. We did not provide information to
every Senator, rather concentrated mainly on those on the Committee on
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Since each Senator is responsible
primarily to their own constituency, we think it would be most effective
to have someone from each state write a letter to each Senator from their
state. These need to be sent via snail mail rather than email, or perhaps
both, but not exclusively by email. We don't want to "over-paper" the
Senate and the House, at least at this point, with lots of duplicate
information, so it probably makes sense to mount a coordinated effort
with one person writing from each state.
Please e-mail Teri at
or Marsharee at
and we will send you the briefing paper we put
together and have given to the staff from the offices
of the following Senators:
Allard & Nighthorse Campbell (CO), Baucus (MT), Bingaman (NM), Conrad
(ND),Daschle (SD), Feinstein (CA), Harkin (CT), Helms (NC), McConnell
(KY), Nelson (NE),Stabenow (MN), Thomas(WY), & Lugar (IN)
State Action Needed.
Additionally, we believe it is necessary to mount an in-state campaign.
The states can have a more stringent policy than the Federal plan, but
not more lenient. As we have seen in recent activity in Iowa, among other
states, State Legislators are moving forward with or without our input.
In many states they have already put into place state authority to kill any
animal they deem "exposed" or at risk rather than as old legislation
required, a confirmation of positive diagnosis. We need to write them
asking for 1)the state written policy, 2) any planned review, amendments
or hearings on the current policy and 3) inquire as to what information and
documentation they would need to classify animals as ones subject to
quarantine vs automatic culling. Once we know what they need to see,
we can provide them various pieces of information regarding the low
susceptibility of camelids.
We have to ask first, in a very "we want to help" way.
We must somehow coordinate all this. As someone from a given state
agrees to take this on, please let Teri and Marsharee know and we will keep
a spreadsheet listing who is working on this in each state.
Also, please send us copies of the letters that you send and responses
you get back so we can maintain a file for future reference.
People, this is serious stuff. We must get this done ASAP-in a
professional way, working through the channels that exist, even if we
don't agree with many we may encounter. If changes are needed to state or
federal policy, we still have time to get that done. If we don't ALL
work on this now, we may have to live and our animals die by whatever other
people have decided for us.
Thanks in advance for your involvement and commitment to this project
and your lamas.
Teri and Marsharee
Here is the Briefing Paper Teri and Marsharee
Foot and Mouth Disease May 2001
The USDA Emergency Plan for FMD is based on the last outbreak of Foot and
Mouth Disease in the US in 1929, in spite of a number of factors that have
changed in the 72 years since. The current plan, though perhaps
satisfactory for traditional livestock, does not provide adequate Risk
Assessment for the variety of species that are now present in the US; nor
does it take into consideration the role of each potential host as an
"emitter", giving any consideration for the amount of virus shed, the number
and type of animals that might shed the virus or the duration of time in
which they could possibly transmit the disease.
People are now raising different kinds of livestock in addition to the
cattle, sheep, goats and pigs that we have traditionally known in the USA.
The USDA does not define FMD-susceptible animals in the Emergency Plan. This
has led to quite a bit of confusion; with local APHIS representatives being
given the power to decide which animals may live or be culled should FMD
come to the United States.
Not all animals classified as livestock are food animals nor are they
extensively exported, if at all. Camelids are such animals. They are not
raised for meat production in the USA, rather for their fine fiber, used as
pack animals, guard animals for sheep or other livestock, caddies for golf
courses and as companion and therapy animals. Camelid owners and breeders
who have contacted the hotline or their local APHIS representative have been
given a variety of stories. One APHIS representative said that camelids are
just as susceptible as cattle and would be dealt with accordingly. This is
certainly not supported by research, some done by APHIS itself.
Camelid FMD Research
· 1952, APHIS: Llamas were susceptible to FMD virus when injected with it.
Although this is a highly unlikely scenario, it is apparently based upon
this study that the USDA/CEAH group has noted llamas as "high-risk".
· 1989, APHIS: Foot and Mouth disease virus in the llama (Lubroth,
Yedloutschnig, Culhane, Mikiciuk, J Vet Diagn Invest 2:197-203. Llamas were
inoculated once again with a number of FMD virus types. According to the
authors of the study, "The inability in this study to isolate FMDV beyond
the first week post inoculation or post contact with FMDV-infected animal or
premises is of paramount importance. This finding contrasts with what has
been documented in some other species."
· 1993, APHIS/ Argentina, Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (two
studies). Testing was done on 460 llamas that were co-pastured on nine
different farms with FMD history within the previous two years. No llama
tested positive for exposure to the disease. This was confirmed with
independent testing done at Plum Island. The authors say, "While the
epidemiology of FMD virus in camelids has not been extensively studied,
circumstantial evidence and the few limited field surveys that have been
reported suggest that camelids are very resistant to natural FMD virus
In the translation from the Spanish publication Veterinaria Argentina, the
authors state, "these combined results confirm experimental findings that
demonstrated that lama
glama has a low susceptibility to infection from the FMD virus under natural
conditions, and that this animal play a minimal or no role in the
epidemiology of FMD in cattle or sheep herds. (David, Torres [acting
director of Plum Island], Mebus, USDA)
· July 1994, Veterinary Clinics of North America published in an Update on
Llama Medicine a brief discussion on FMD virus experiments in the llama.
"More importantly, it was concluded from these studies that currently used
disease-monitoring procedures and quarantine restrictions are adequate to
prevent FMD from entering the United States." (Mattson, DE, DVM, PhD).
This article focused on restrictions in place at that time for importation
of llamas from South America.
· 1999, Argentina. The authors analyzed sera from 390 llamas. No
antibodies (which would indicate exposure to or infection from) against FMD
infections were detected in any animal.
· Merck Veterinary Manual, 8th Edition, page 457: ". but camels are
resistant to natural infection, and the smaller camelids such as alpacas and
llamas, although susceptible, are probably of no epidemiologic significance.
Biotechnology has made great advances in recent years. There are now tests
made by at least two different companies that have the ability to
differentiate between an FMD-exposed animal and one that has been
Testing kits are available that are extremely sensitive to the presence of
the FMD virus. It is now possible to detect the virus within 2-3 hours.
Accordingly, there is no need to do a blanket ring cull around a confirmed
case of FMD. It is, as Fred Brown (USDA Plum Island) says, "a beautiful
piece of kit, simple and not costly." He goes on to say this test could
have had a dramatic effect in the UK on the amount of "innocent" animals
that were culled.
New vaccines made from synthetic virus seeds have been developed, rendering
a vaccinated animal incapable of spreading a disease the animal has not been
exposed to except by route of vaccination.
Fred Brown (USDA Plum Island) has confirmed that no reinfection of other
animals has taken place in tests. Animals and vaccinated carriers had been
penned together and it was very difficult to get infection. He only knew of
one case in the past, which featured a water buffalo in Africa.
Alternatives to Cull Policy
Currently, vaccination is illegal in the United States for food and non-food
animals alike. It should be noted that the EU provides for emergency
vaccination. Several EU countries are utilizing vaccination during this
current FMD outbreak.
Vaccinated animals are safe for human consumption. Vaccinated animals and
their by products such as milk have been consumed without any adverse health
effects for 40 years on the continent before the ban on vaccination started
in the early 90's.
USDA's (Plum Island) Fred Brown is considered to be a leading expert on FMD.
In recent meetings in London he noted even in tests where huge amounts of
live virus had been directly put into a vaccinated animals mouth (many more
times than would be expected in a real situation) the results were negative
and the effects of vaccination were dramatic. He indicated the continent
had experienced 100,000's of cases of FMD a year prior to vaccination being
banned in the early '90's. When vaccination was used the effects were
dramatic and disease free status was quickly gained. He stated this was true
in many countries around the world.
Mr. Brown indicates vaccination is being seriously considered by the United
States, but this is not evident in the USDA Emergency Plan. Mr. Brown
confirms vaccinations work equally well in all species and there are no
special problems with sheep or pigs, in spite of some reports to the
contrary coming out of Pirbright, in England. He stated that he was in favor
of a move towards mass vaccination because it had been shown over the years
to be the very best way to tackle any type of virus - human or animal. The
huge medical successes of the past century have been the development of
vaccines - why don't we use them? He confirms that no reinfection of other
animals had taken place in tests. Animals and vaccinated carriers had been
penned together and it had proven very difficult for infection to be
transmitted. He only knew of one case in the past, which featured a water
buffalo in Africa.
Camelid veterinary practice currently utilizes vaccines specified for other
species with a great degree of success. There are no specifically approved
Camelid vaccines to date however, culling is not the only viable alternative
as scientific evidence substantiates unlikelihood of Camelids getting and/or
Studies have clearly shown Camelids have low susceptibility to infection
from the FMD virus under natural conditions, and that they play a minimal,
if any, role in the epidemiology of FMD in cattle or sheep herds. The
Mattson work concluded that currently used disease-monitoring procedures and
quarantine restrictions for Camelids are adequate to prevent FMD from
entering the United States from other countries. The established
disease-monitoring procedures and use of quarantine could also be utilized
to prevent FMD from spreading within the USA alleviating the need to hastily
and unnecessarily cull.
Infection can be induced with extensive effort such as scarification of the
tongue, intradermal inoculation of the tongue, intramuscular and intravenous
injection, but even under these very unlikely scenarios, FMD virus has not
been isolated from Camelids after 14 days post inoculation or post contact
with FMDV-infected animal or premises. This is a finding that contrasts
dramatically with documentation in other species. This exceptional finding
necessitates discrete and appropriate consideration for Camelids within the
USDA Emergency Plan.
Impact of Current USDA Policy
The Camelid Industry, though certainly an immature industry, is an estimated
billion dollar+ per year business within the United States. The ambiguity
that exists in the USDA Emergency Plan at this time can result in needless
slaughter of Camelids should FMD arrive on our shores.
The potential economic impact of such actions could be severe. Depending
upon pedigree and fiber quality, individual Camelids are worth thousands of
dollars. Some family farms are wholly dependent on income from their
Camelids, whether raising breeding stock, sheep guards, running trekking
business or operating alpaca and llama fiber related businesses. Further
thousands of additional farming interests will be harmed by the trickle down
effect from loss of customer base.
· Research studies consistently show Camelids are very resistant to FMD
infection by cohabitation or other naturally occurring means. They pose
very little, if any, risk to other livestock, as they do not carry the virus
after 14 days.
· Based upon a preponderance of scientific evidence, Camelids should be
officially classified as "low risk" animals and USDA response measures for
Camelids should include quarantine provisions.
· Categories should be developed and appropriate protocols established for
animals that are not raised for food, that will not be exported,
non-traditional livestock and companion and pet animals.
· Vaccination should not be categorically left out of the USDA Emergency
Plan. Animal categories should be developed and vaccination options
evaluated for each group.
We have a unique opportunity to learn from the glaring mistakes of our
friends in the UK. We have the expertise here in our own country and can
choose to be proactive or sit back and be reactive. Your commitment to your
constituents will be demonstrated in that choice and by how you decide to
address the shortcomings in the USDA Plan. Thank you for your time and
Fri, 4 May 2001
This is the wonderful country Sandra and I live in. This is the country
they are asking you come and visit. I have been in export sales all my life
selling the best of British goods around the World. Having had all our rare
breed sheep killed, and then been told the blood test was negative, and
seeing many cases like tonights killing of 5 healthy sheep. We are ashamed
to call ourselves British. Farmers, smallholders and hobby farmers are
being treated as if we live in Nazi Germany and our Ministry of Agriculture
is acting like they are the gestapo. We now live in the police state called
Britain, not a very nice place. Tonight we feel so sorry for Carolyne and
her mother. It is another case of the Maff getting there own back. Tomorrow
there are 3 more farms they intend to take out in this area. The spin from
the govt is all bullshit , the killing carries on. WELCOME TO BRITAIN 2001
THE ISLAND WHERE WE ARE KILLING AROUND 5 MILLION HEALTHY ANIMALS ALL FOR A
Michael & Sandra Keeler
P.S. We still have the llamas , but they took the sheep.
(Read forwarded portion below first.)
Dr. Potgieter is a veterinarian at the University of Tennessee Veterinary
School. He attended a USDA meeting on Foot Mouth Disease as alluded to
below. It should cause those of us who raise camelids great concern to know
that the USDA is going to "target" them even though they do not "develop
much in the way of disease." This is fresh from a high level meeting (held
week of April 30, 2001). We need to talk to officials, veterinarians, law
makers, and others involved with this process to try to change their
procedures/laws and make an impact immediately. University of Tennessee
Vet. School academic office number is 865-974-5818. Does anyone have
contacts in the Secretary of Agriculture's office?
Dr. Potgeiter mentioned in the material that he presented that only about 1%
of the animals affected with hoof and mouth disease die from it. The high
mortality rate is from slaughtering animals to prevent the spread of the
disease. It would seem that we could find other alternatives for camelids
which don't "develop much in the way of disease."
Now is the time! Deirdre
Subject: Foot and Mouth in camelids
Here is some additional information from Dr. Potgieter, our speaker last
weekend. Please pass along to others who may be interested.
From: Leon Potgieter
Sent: Thursday, May 3, 2001 8:32 AM
I just returned form Washington DC where I attended a meeting
organized by the Secretary of Agriculture on Foot and Mouth
Disease. Some of your members asked me about camelids; i.e.
alpacas and llamas. Apparently, although they don't really develop
much in the way of disease; they will be targeted in any control
measure because USDA has decided that they can become
infected and transmit the virus. Please pass this information on to
Dr Leon N.D. Potgieter, Professor and Head
Department of Comparative Medicine,
Director of Research and Graduate Programs,
College of Veterinary Medicine,
P.O. Box 1071
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071.
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
One person's perspective
Murray E. Fowler, DVM
Davis, California, USA
A furor is taking place that is unprecedented in modern times. Foot and
mouth disease is on the lips of all animal owners throughout the world. A
day doesn't pass that there isn't mention of this disease in the newspaper
or on television. Llama and alpaca owners are justifiably concerned.
E-mail and internet communication have made it possible for the foment to
become widespread. I offer the following in an attempt to smooth the
troubled waters. There may be no answers for some questions. No one
person can speak with absolute authority on every, "What if?" "Who will
act?" "What can I do?" However, a few facts and figures may encourage us
to look at the big picture rather the small window of our limited knowledge
on the subject. I am a firm believer in looking at a problem from the
what, why, where, when, who and how perspective.
Why am I writing about FMD? I don't own llamas or alpacas. I hold no
office in any llama or alpaca organization, however, I have been a longtime
supporter of the llama and alpaca industries. In the past I have served
the industries in government relations with the U.S. Animal Health
Association. As for FMD, I have lived and worked in countries where FMD is
endemic. I have seen the effects of FMD on cattle industries in those
countries. I have seen wild deer in which FMD was produced experimentally,
while participating in a course about foreign animal diseases at Plum
Island. I have reviewed over 60 professional papers that have been
published on FMD in camelids. Finally, I am concerned about the panic that
has been generated within the llama and alpaca industries.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD, aftosa, aphthous fever, hoof and mouth
disease) is a highly contagious viral disease, primarily of cattle, sheep,
swine, and goats, but also affecting cloven-hoofed wild animals (deer,
elk, moose, wild sheep, mountain goats, wild pigs). Horses are not
FMD is characterized by marked salivation, vesicular (blister) lesions and,
subsequently, erosions and ulcers of the epithelium of the lips, gums, soft
palate, nostrils, muzzle, coronary bands, between the toes and on the
teats. Initially, animals may develop a fever. The lesions in the mouth
may make eating painful, so animals refuse to eat, resulting in weight
loss, declined milk and meat production. Foot lesion may cause the animal
to be lame.
Seven immunologically distinct types of FMD virus (FMDV) are known. Within
the seven types, over 60 subtypes have been identified over the years by
special laboratory tests.
Of recent concern is the so-called Pan-Asian strain of the O-type virus,
which seems to be highly pathogenic (causes disease) and is spreading
rapidly throughout some parts of the world. However, it must be kept in
mind that outbreaks of FMD in other countries may be caused by one of the
other strains. The strain of virus has important implications for
vaccination programs, as a vaccine developed for one strain may be
ineffective for protection against another strain.
The present foot and mouth disease crisis in the United Kingdom, France and
The Netherlands has caused reverberations in every nation of the world with
a sizable cattle, sheep, goat and swine population.
Llamas and alpacas are highly resistant to FMD virus infection.
Experimental research conducted at the Plum Island Research Center in New
York and in Argentina concluded that llamas are resistant to the virus and
that even when experimentally infected, the animals do not carry the virus
for longer than 14 days. They are not considered to be potential carriers.
Alpaca cohabitating with cattle during an FMD outbreak in Peru generally
remained free of FMD, however, FMD virus has been isolated from at least
It would be incorrect to say that llamas and alpacas could not, under any
circumstance, develop FMD during an outbreak in other livestock.
Furthermore, no studies have been conducted in field situations on the
Pan-Asian, type O-strain in camelids. While government officials
understand that llamas and alpacas are highly resistant to FMD virus, no
one can say with finality that infection couldn't happen.
Llama, alpaca and livestock owners are not the only people concerned. Zoos
throughout the world exhibit and maintain many cloven-hoofed wild animals.
In the past, outbreaks of FMD have devastated zoos in Italy, North Africa ,
France, Switzerland and South America.
WHY ARE LLAMA & ALPACA OWNERS CONCERNED?
1. They hear on television and read in the newpapers of thousands of
animals being destroyed in Great Britain, France and The Netherlands.
2. E-mails are flying back and forth across the Atlantic with horror
stories of camelids being killed along with cattle and sheep.
3. Well-meaning individuals are seeking legal intervention to prevent
destruction (real and potential) of their animals.
4. Hopes of a cure-all vaccination program are being touted by journalists
and even by companies that stand to profit from seeing a vaccine program
5. Compassion for animals
6. Potential loss of a livelihood
7. Humane considerations
8. Feeling that government agencies aren't handling the outbreaks properly
9. Fear that government authorities here in the United States know little
or nothing about llamas and alpacas.
10. Many llama and alpaca owners in crisis countries have justifiable
concern as to where their animals fit into governmental policies regarding
movement of animals, quarantine, testing, slaughter, vaccination and
WHERE DO PROBLEMS EXIST?
The first reports of the Pan-Asian strain of the O-type FMD virus came
from India in 1990. It has subsequently spread to the Middle East, South
East Asia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Columbia, Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, France and The
Netherlands. Various types of FMD are present endemically (appearing
regularly) in approximately 2/3 of the countries of the world; 34 countries
in the last 18 months. Many of these countries allow vaccination as a
means of minimizing the effects of the disease. This raises the question,
"Why doesn't the United States allow vaccination?" This will be discussed
later. Countries that are currently free of FMD are Australia, New
Zealand, Canada, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Mexico and the United States.
WHO SHOULD BE IN CHARGE?
Government agencies in countries that have been free of the disease in the
immediate past are responsible for carrying out the dictates of legislative
bodies relative to disease control. The governing authority for protecting
the livestock interests of the United States is the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA); given that authority by Congress.
Present government policy in the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands,
Canada and the United States dictates that infected animals or susceptible
animals exposed to infected animals be slaughtered to prevent the spread of
Place yourself in the shoes of USDA officials. They are given the
responsibility of protecting the livestock interests of the country. Over
185 million head of livestock are potentially susceptible to FMD virus in
the United States, see table 1. Think of the billions of dollars valuation
of the livestock industries. Consider also that over 17 million wild
animals are potentially susceptible to FMD. It is estimated that it would
require 6 to 14 billion dollars to eradicate FMD should an outbreak occur
here. The cost of living with FMD would be infinitely more devastating.
USDA is not taking lightly the responsibility to protect the livestock
industries of this country. Neither are they disregarding the camelid
industries. Wildlife authorities are working with USDA to prevent
introduction into wild populations.
Table 1. Estimated Numbers of Animals in the United States
ANIMAL ESTIMATED NUMBERS
Beef cattle 97,308,000ª
Llamas 138,780*, Estimated 175,000
White-tailed deer 12,450,000
Mule deer 2,250,000
Dall sheep Up to 95,000
Bighorn sheep 35,000
Mountain goat 100,000
Wild pigs 200,000 to 300,000 in Calif.
*Registered with International Lama Registry, **Wool only,
¹Alpaca Registry International,
ªFrom USDA website (usda.manlib.cornell.edu/reports/nassr/livestock/pct-bb)
Species that are highly susceptible to FMD virus include cattle, swine,
sheep and goats. The wild species of cloven-hoofed wild animals are likely
to be equally susceptible to FMD virus. California experienced an outbreak
of FMD in coastal black-tailed deer (a subspecies of mule deer) in 1924.
Over 22,000 deer were killed to eradicate the disease. Ten percent of
those killed had lesions of FMD. The introduction of FMD virus into the
United States has serious implications for wildlife and to regulatory
authorities, who must deal with these issues.
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) maintains
emergency response teams ready to go into the field and deal with any
suspected vesicular disease as a potential FMD outbreak. If vesicular
lesions are found in animals, the farm is quarantined until a diagnosis is
made. Samples from any suspected vesicular disease are couriered to the
Plum Island Animal Disease Center, at an island off Long Island, New York,
for laboratory diagnosis. Some 400 to 600 such samples are evaluated each
Foot and mouth disease is not the only vesicular disease that must be
considered in the United States. Swine may develop vesicular exanthema
disease. Cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses and llamas are also
susceptible to a disease called vesicular stomatitis (VS), which appears
periodically in various areas of the United States. The clinical signs of
VS are indistinguishable from those of FMD. The point is that government
agencies are continually vigilant and have everything in place to prevent
and deal with vesicular diseases.
HOW CAN INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS BE MOST EFFECTIVE IN PROTECTING THEIR INTERESTS?
1. Work together as an industry or industries, rather than developing
special interest groups fostering one aspect of the overall problem.
2. Ask governmental authorities how the industry may be of service to and
support governmental policies.
WHAT SHOULDN'T BE DONE?
2. Assume that every press release or media report is a true reflection of
the actual situation
3. Circulate or re-circulate information that has not been verified by
4. Small groups trying to pressure government officials to cater to their
5. Assume that no one is looking out for the interests of llamas and
alpacas in the United States
WHAT CAN BE DONE NOW TO PREVENT THE INTRODUCTION OF FMD INTO THE UNITED
1. Become knowledgeable about how the FMD virus is spread, which is
primarily by droplets in the air (aerosol) coming from an infected animal.
Experience in England has shown that wind is an important factor in
spreading the virus. Direct contact from one animal to another is an
important means of spread. The virus may become attached to feed, bedding
and equipment used around infected animals which may also contaminate
drinking water. The current outbreak in the United Kingdom was likely
caused by smuggled-uncooked meat products from Asia that ended up in
garbage fed to swine. While humans are not infected by the virus, they may
be mechanical vectors via their hands, footwear or even by harboring the
virus in the throat. Persons working with FMD infected cattle at Plum
Island, are required to agree not to be near livestock for at least seven
days. It has been shown that a person can shower out of a facility one day
and return the next day to handle a group of non-infected cattle and
transmit the virus to the new cattle from aerosol transmission from his or
2. Try to educate fellow owners and breeders on FMD facts.
3. Educate visitors to your farm or ranch. As stated before, zoos have
great concern about FMD. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA)
has issued a set of guidelines to help protect member zoos. They suggest a
two-pronged approach. First is public education by posting a statement
such as the following in prominent places at the entrance and within the
zoo. "Attention Zoo Guests.....Please help protect our zoo animals from
foot and mouth disease. If you have traveled outside of North America in
the last 5 days, please check in at the guest services desk before visiting
the animal exhibits. Thank you for your cooperation." A similar notice
may be used to alert visitors to your ranch. Attention visitors!!! Please
help us protect our beautiful animals from contagious diseases. If you
have traveled outside of North America in the past 5 days, please check
with us before going near any of the animals.
Secondly, educate and instruct all persons who have direct care of your
animals to pay close attention to any abnormal behavior or clinical sign of
disease. Be specific about recognition of the signs of FMD as described
above. Report any suspicious sign to your veterinarian.
3. Avoid travel to any area of the world where FMD is present
4. Discourage direct contact by visitors with your animals.
OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY IN THE UNFORTUNATE EVENT THAT FMD VIRUS ARRIVES IN
1. Do not bring any new animals onto your farm during the crisis.
2. Avoid transporting your animals anywhere
3. Make no visits to farms with cattle, sheep or swine.
4. Discourage visitation to your farm
5. Follow a policy of strict adherence to policies and procedures
instituted by government officials
6. Avoid mixing llamas and alpacas with other livestock species.
HOW SHOULD LLAMA AND ALPACA OWNERS INTERACT WITH GOVERNMENT AGENCIES?
I feel strongly that owners and organizations should direct their efforts
through channels that are already in place and functioning. Government
relations at the national level have been in operation for many years. The
llama and alpaca industries enjoy an excellent relationship with the United
States Animal Health Association, USDA and state regulatory officials as a
result of years of working with this organization for the best interests of
all concerned. Dr. Tom Bunting forged the initial links, followed by
Donald Christ and lately by Bob Frost. Bob Frost has represented the llama
industry at USAHA for over 11 years. Few people are aware of the
tremendous effort he has made to become acquainted with key people within
government circles. He is known and respected within the USAHA because of
his committee activities and he has become knowledgeable about specific
diseases of concern to the llama industry. His efforts have gone beyond
the llama industry, and he is known for his grasp of the concerns of the
entire livestock industry in this country.
He has become a vice president within the USAHA and will ascend to the
presidency in due time. He is now in a key position to foster the
interests of the camelid communities to the highest level of government.
He is in constant communication with the key players in the current world
crisis on FMD.
Any activity dealing with the current crisis that ignores or tries to
circumvent channels that have already been firmly established will be
counter-productive. FMD is not the only disease of concern to the camelid
industries. Perhaps now is an appropriate time for the many groups that
comprise the camelid industries to remain calm and realize that government
relations at the national level require a firm commitment and continued
financial support to allow representatives to attend meetings and carry out
the many duties imposed upon them.
Additional information is needed on a number of diseases so that the
camelid industries may be proactive in diagnosis, rather than being
apologetic or playing catch-up during crisis situations. We don't have
sufficient information on FMD to make an airtight case for the exclusion of
camelids from potential regulation. These activities require money to
conduct the research necessary. That money must come from the industry.
WHY CAN'T WE VACCINATE OUR ANIMALS TO PROTECT THEM?
At the present time it is illegal to vaccinate any animal against FMD
virus in North America. Vaccination in the United Kingdom and Western
Europe has been seriously considered as a means of more rapid containment
of FMD. If it had been instigated, once the spread had been halted, all
vaccinated animals would have had to be destroyed, because it would not be
possible to tell the difference between a naturally infected animal and a
vaccinated animal. I am fully aware that at least one company says that it
has a test that could tell the difference if the government would quickly
authorize use of the test. That is self serving, and insufficient data
exists to rely on such a test for a country's control of FMD.
The USDA, at Plum Island Research Center, is currently working feverishly
to develop a suitable vaccine using new recombinant DNA technology.
Currently, the USDA would have to rely on the production of vaccines from
the Purbright facility in England.
There are over 60 subtypes of the FMD virus. This means that the subtype
must be identified in an outbreak and a type-specific vaccine would have to
be used. Reports of vaccine failures in countries around the world may
mean that the wrong subtype vaccine was used.
Vaccines are developed for a particular species of animal, and not
approved for use until thousands of animals have been shown to be protected
by the vaccination, which includes challenging those animals with the
disease agent. As many llama and alpaca owners know, no vaccines have been
approved for use in their animals. Millions of dollars, and at least 2
year's time, would be required for the appropriate tests necessary to gain
approval by USDA. Furthermore, the only laboratory where research on FMD
could be conducted in the United States is at Plum Island, and their
priorities are elsewhere at the moment.
Is vaccination in the offing for llamas and alpacas? NO!!
1. USDA is doing all within its power to prevent the introduction of FMD
virus into the USA.
2. Llama and alpaca interests are represented to the highest level of the
3. The high resistance of llamas and alpacas to FMD virus is known and
appreciated by regulatory authorities.
4. Nothing is to be gained by small groups trying to put pressure on
government officials at the local, state or national level.
5. Regulatory agencies receive their authority from Congress, which may
have the final word in the event of a crisis.
A list of selected references on FMD in camelids may be obtained from the
David E Anderson, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Associate Professor of Surgery, Food Animal
This was prepared by the National Cattlemans Beef Association and may be
found at www.beef.org
Prepared by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Since the recent European outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, USDA has
moved quickly to increase protection in this country to prevent the
introduction of the virus. USDA issued an interim rule on Feb. 21
prohibiting or restricting the importation into the United States of live
swine and ruminants and any fresh swine or ruminant meat (chilled or
frozen) or products from Great Britain or Northern Ireland.
Foot-and-mouth disease is common to about two-thirds of the countries of
the world and is on all but three continents - Antarctica, Australia and
North America. Recent coverage has heightened livestock industry and
general public awareness. However, the only real increase in risk to the
U.S. livestock industry is how the monitoring and surveillance system that
has protected the industry from reintroduction of foot-and-mouth disease
for more than 72 years is affected. That system must now also guard
against introduction of the virus from Europe, especially the United
On March 13, USDA expanded the earlier ban to temporarily prohibit the
importation of animals and animal products from the entire European Union
due to concerns about foot-and-mouth disease there.
Since the United States hasn't imported beef from the United Kingdom since
1985 and the rest of Europe since 1997 due to BSE concerns, the product
imports affected are primarily pork on the red meat side.
Argentina suspended shipments of fresh and frozen beef to the United
States, Canada and Mexico on March 13 in response to Argentina's
foot-and-mouth outbreaks. USDA scheduled an inspection team to visit that
country the week of March 26.
USDA Has Compensation Plan
USDA has told NCBA that a plan to financially compensate livestock owners
for losses due to an outbreak such as foot-and-mouth disease is in place.
If an "extraordinary emergency" developed due to a U.S. outbreak of a
disease such as foot-and-mouth disease, the Secretary of Agriculture
legally may seize, quarantine, and dispose of any livestock found to have
been affected with or exposed to the disease. In such an emergency,
producers will receive 100 percent of fair market value for animals
depopulated due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. That value will
be determined by federal and state government employees.
Payment for the fair market value of the livestock will be shared equally
between the state and federal governments. If a state is unable to pay its
50 percent, the federal government will pay the entire amount. Producers
are assured of receiving 100 percent of fair market value from one source
or another. There is no risk that the producer will only be partly
compensated if the state does not have a cooperator program or matching
However, if the producer intentionally moves or handles animals in a way
that violates the law, he will receive no payment.
USDA continues to take every precaution to prevent the introduction of this
and other foreign animal diseases.
The complete federal regulation regarding this issue can be reviewed at the
following site: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/21/134a.html
The federal government has a national emergency response plan in place to
handle the possible outbreak of a highly contagious animal disease, such as
foot-and mouth. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will
coordinate the effort.
A brief summary of that plan follows.
The goal of an emergency response plan is to detect, control and eradicate
a highly contagious disease as quickly as possible to return the United
States to "free" status. A presumptive positive case will generate
immediate, appropriate local and national measures to eliminate the crisis
and minimize the consequences. A confirmed positive case will generate
additional measures on a regional, national and international scale.
A Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician will help determine the likelihood
of a highly contagious disease based on clinical signs, history and
Assessments are classified as unlikely, possible or highly unlikely. For
the first two, at a minimum, the diagnostician should request that the
producer put himself under a voluntary quarantine until lab results come
back. Lab samples are sent with a Priority 1 status, meaning a presumptive
diagnosis can be returned in less than 24 hours.
If the diagnostician determines the case is highly likely, he immediately
consults with the state veterinarian and the lead federal veterinarian for
APHIS Veterinary Services in the area. This is what can happen then:
o A state quarantine will be placed on the farm.
o A movement control zone will be established around the farm.
o Local ag and emergency officials will be notified.
o All contacts to the farm will be traced.
Once the laboratory has determined it has a positive sample, a cascade of
action steps occur. Under this Presumptive Positive scenario, the state
veterinarian will, among other things:
o Quarantine the affected premises.
o Consider stopping the movement of animals within the state.
o Consider active case finding based on suggestive clinical signs in the
states to include the field veterinarians, Food Safety Inspection Service,
extension agents, industry partners and public awareness campaigns.
o Consider herd depopulation in consultation with USDA, industry and other
o Determine whether wild animals may be a risk factor in the dissemination
or persistence of infection.
o Notify appropriate contacts that would be needed to support a response.
When there is a confirmed positive case and the agent is isolated and
The state veterinarian will, among other things:
o begin depopulating and disposing the infected herd;
o request a Governor's Declaration of Emergency; and
o continue quarantine and movement restrictions.
The state emergency director will, among other things, evaluate the need
for a Presidential Declaration of Emergency, thus implementing the Federal
USDA will, among other things:
o Update the Secretary on a daily basis.
o Coordinate the efforts of all USDA agencies to support Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service.
o Impose on the affected state a federal quarantine for interstate commerce
and request enforcement by the affected state and adjoining states.
o Evaluate the role of vaccination in the disease response and eradication
The Secretary of Agriculture will, among other things:
Declare an emergency, if necessary, to release the funds to cover expenses
for response activities, including funds for indemnity.
Q. What is foot-and-mouth disease?
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease that
does not affect humans but has devastating effects on animals with cloven
hooves such as cattle, swine, sheep, goats and deer. The United States has
not had a case of foot-and-mouth disease since 1929, and that occurrence
was contained and eradicated quickly.
There are seven types of the FMD virus, all of which have similar symptoms.
Immunity to one type does not protect animals from other types. The
average incubation period for FMD is between three and eight days, but it
can be up to two weeks in some cases. The disease is rarely fatal, but may
kill very young animals. Those that survive are often debilitated and
experience severe loss in milk or meat production. FMD does not affect
humans, although people can carry the virus on clothing and other surfaces
if they come in contact with the virus.
Q. What are the symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease?
The most obvious signs of the disease in animals are excessive slobbering,
going off feed and lameness. Affected animals may have a sudden rise in
temperature, followed by blisters in the mouth or other areas of tender
skin such as udders in females, nostrils and on the feet - particularly
near the hooves. Soft tissues under the hoof are often inflamed and the
animal can become lame and may even shed its hooves. Eating becomes painful
and many animals often go off feed, which results in weight loss, declined
milk production for dairy cattle and goats, and declined meat production.
In some cases, affected animals can suffer from sterility, chronic
lameness, aborted pregnancies and chronic mastitis.
Q. How is it spread?
Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious virus and can be spread by
movement of infected animals, movement of contaminated vehicles and by
contaminated facilities used to hold animals. It also can infect animals
through contaminated hay or feedstuffs and if susceptible animals drink
from a common water source. While FMD is not considered a threat to human
health, people who come in contact with the virus can spread it to animals
through clothing, footwear or other equipment/materials. The virus can
harbor in the human nasal passages for as long as 28 hours. Wind also can
spread the virus through the air.
Q. If foot-and-mouth disease rarely kills animals, and if people can't
contract the virus, why is there so much concern about it?
Foot-and-mouth disease is a very contagious virus, with nearly 100 percent
of exposed animals ultimately becoming infected. If the disease grew to be
widespread in any country, the economic impact could be severe. The most
serious effects would include severe decline in milk from dairy cattle and
goats, decline in meat production, possible sterility of animals, chronic
lameness and chronic mastitis.
Q. What would be the economic impact if foot-and-mouth disease did occur
in the U.S.
If FMD were to occur in the United States, the degree of economic impact
would depend on how quickly the disease was identified and effective
control measures put in place. If it was controlled quickly and
eradicated, as was the case with the last occurrence of FMD in the United
States back in 1929, the damage might be small. However, if the disease
became widespread, the economic loss could easily be many billions of
If we had an FMD outbreak in the United States today, our exports of beef
would be halted for at least a year. A lot of our beef customers overseas
are in countries that are FMD-free, and they wouldn't want to take the
chance of bringing the virus into their countries through our meat products.
Q. Is there a treatment or cure?
The virus can be killed by heat, low humidity and some disinfectants. It
is rarely fatal to animals but may kill very young animals. There is no
cure, and the virus usually runs its course in two to three weeks with most
animals recovering. However, affected animals can become debilitated and
suffer loss of milk or meat production.
Q. Is foot-and mouth disease present in U.S. cattle herds?
No. The United States has not had a case of foot-and-mouth disease since
1929, which was contained and eradicated quickly. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture regularly monitors for any disease among U.S. cattle herds and
takes aggressive steps to prevent FMD from spreading to the United States
whenever there is an outbreak in other countries.
Q. What steps are being taken to keep foot-and-mouth out of the U.S.?
USDA officials also are stationed around the globe to monitor and
coordinate with the state agriculture officials.
There is heightened alert at ports of entry and airports to ensure
passengers, luggage and cargo are checked as appropriate. This includes
placing additional inspectors and dog teams at airports to check incoming
flights and passengers.
USDA on April 9 authorized an additional $32 million to hire approximately
350 additional staff at critical ports and airports to protect against
pests and diseases. The staffing will be added over fiscal years 2001 and
2002; in 2001, 127 permanent officers/ technicians will be added; 27 canine
officers will be added; 173 temporary inspectors will be hired; and, 20
The government also prohibits travelers from carrying into the United
States any agricultural products, particularly animal products that could
spread FMD. Passengers are required to identify any farm contact to Customs
and USDA officials. All baggage is subject to inspection. Violations could
result in penalties of up to $1,000.
A team of experts (40 federal, state and university officials) is sent to
the European Union - or any other country with an outbreak - to monitor,
evaluate and assist in containment efforts.
USDA recently initiated an aggressive public education campaign. It
includes additional signage in airports, public service announcements, Web
site, and other tools to inform the public about this important issue and
steps they can take to prevent the virus from entering the United States.
When there is an outbreak of FMD in another country, the United States
prohibits the importation of animals and animal products from that country.
These restrictions augment those already in place on ruminants and ruminant
products to prevent the introduction of bovine spongiform encephalopathy
into the United States.
As part of its ongoing surveillance program, the USDA conducts hundreds of
field inquiries each year in an effort to detect animal diseases that might
NCBA officials on March 21 met with agricultural attaches from the Mexican,
Canadian and Central American embassies to discuss the foot-and-mouth
situation in South America. These countries have implemented measures that
are as strict or stricter than those in the United States to keep the FMD
Q. What can consumers do to help prevent foot-and-mouth disease from
occurring in the U.S.?
All international travelers coming into the United States must state on
their Customs declaration form whether or not they have been on a farm or
have been in contact with livestock. If they have, then:
o Any soiled footwear must be disinfected with detergent and bleach.
o Dirty clothing must be washed and disinfected prior to returning to the
All international travelers also must declare if they are bringing any
meat or dairy products into the United States. USDA officials then will
inspect baggage of those travelers and confiscate products of swine and
ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed animals),
with the exception of hard cheeses and canned products with a shelf life.
If travelers are around livestock in the United Kingdom and other affected
countries, they should avoid contact with susceptible animals for at least
five days after returning to the United States.
Q. Is the meat or milk from affected animals also contaminated?
Uncooked meat and some types of milk products from contaminated animals can
carry the virus. However, since the virus does not affect humans and would
be destroyed when products are cooked, the primary risk of raw products is
transmission of the virus to susceptible animals.
Q. With so much attention to diseases like foot-and mouth disease and BSE,
should consumers stop eating beef for a while?
The United States remains free of BSE and FMD, so U.S. consumers can
continue to enjoy their favorite beef dishes. Neither disease has been
detected here in the United States.
Q. What can beef producers in the U.S. do to help prevent foot-and-mouth
While there are currently no cases of foot-and-mouth disease in the United
States, there are several steps producers can take to help prevent the
virus from spreading if it ever did show up here:
o Know who is on your farms/ranches/property at all times. If people from
other contries where confirmed cases of FMD have been found are scheduled
to visit your property, make sure they wear freshly cleaned clothing and
footware. Make sure people wash their clothes and footware before
traveling to another farm/ranch/property.
o As always, farmers should watch for excessive salivating, lameness, and
other signs of FMD in their herd and immediately report any unusual or
suspicious signs of disease to their veterinarian, state or federal animal
disease control officials, or their county agricultural agent.
o Food waste used as feed stuffs is required to be fully cooked before
feeding to livestock.
o Immediately contact your state veterinarian, state or federal animal
disease control centers or your country agricultural agent if you suspect
symptoms of FMD.
"Bankers and creditors should be reassured that losses from animal disease
are fully covered by a cooperative federal and state indemnity program.
Producers will receive fair market value, appraised by the federal and
state goverment employees, for animals depopulated due to an out break of
foot-and-mouth disease or another animal disease."
- NCBA Chief Economist Chuck Lambert
The United States has not had a case of foot-and-mouth disease since 1929,
which was contained and eradicated quickly.
Q. Can people contract foot-and-mouth disease?
No. Foot-and-mouth disease does not affect humans. U.S. beef is safe.
The USDA established an 800 number to respond to questions from the public,
industry and media about the foot-and-mouth outbreak in Europe. You can
call the USDA Foot and Mouth Disease hotline at
1-800-601-9327 (then press #2).
The USDA Web site for foot-and-mouth disease is:
or call 1-800-601-9327 (then press 2)
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
5420 South Quebec Street
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: (303) 694-0305 o Fax: (303) 694-2851
This project was funded in part with beef checkoff dollars on behalf of the
Cattlemen's Beef Board.
David E Anderson, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Associate Professor of Surgery, Food Animal
Much to my surprise I received via the US mail info and
recommendations from USDA/the Maryland Dept of Agriculture,
concerning FMD. I had not contacted the state concerning this issue,
so OBVIOUSLY I'm on the list of livestock owners - not a warm fuzzy
feeling at all. The info says that FMD is unlikely to reach our
shores, HOWEVER.... and it goes on to make recommendations about the
precautions Maryland livestock owners should take. The following is
word for word from this info:
1. Limit access to your farm to a single entry point and identify any
and all visitors including service people, those delivering supplies,
etc. Determine if they have been abroad in the past week, if they
have visited an FMD affected country, and if they have been on farms,
golf courses, rural parks, or rural bed & breakfast inns. If so,
deny them entry to your farm, especially to areas occupied by your
livestock, or at least insist that they wear disposable footwear or
clean boots disinfected upon arrival and departure.
2. For all others: Do not allow access to areas occupied by
livestock unless they wear proper footwear. Do not allow hikers,
cyclists, horse back riders, hunters or others to roam around pasture
3. If you visit other farms, auction markets, livestock shows or
fairs, etc. follow the same precautions that you demand of visitors.
4. Consider requiring disinfection of wheels and tires of vehicles
(including your own) entering your farm, especially those that have
been on other farms or exposed to other livestock. If unloading
animals, do so away from your barns, paddocks, dry lots or pasture.
5. Isolate newly purchased livestock or those returning from shows
or fairs from your other stock for two weeks.
6. (this was in bold type) Observe all of your animals at least
daily. If lameness, foot woreness, drooling, decreased appetitie,
sores or blisters on the feet, mouth, or teats appear, IMMEDIATELY
call your own veterinarian, the State Veterinarian or USDA
Veterinarian in charge. They would rather respond to 50 false alarms
than to miss one actual case of FMD.
Nothing was mentioned about what would happen if a case of FMD does pop up.
Here is an editorial from today's Washington Post
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/opinion/A13357-2001Apr12.html (home of USDA and
all of our beloved politicians). At last there is SOME press on this subject in
the US, and it's starting in the right place. I just wish it was a little more
Animals to Slaughter
Friday, April 13, 2001; Page A22
THE EPIDEMIC of foot-and-mouth disease in Europe has provoked tough questions
about globalization, the treatment of animals and the weight of farming in
advanced economies. In Britain, more than 1 million animals have been
slaughtered to contain a disease that has infected only about 1,000, that does
not harm humans and that is not even fatal to livestock. The most commonly cited
reason for the slaughter is that, because the disease is highly infectious, a
stricken country loses its license to export meat. The funeral pyres on
television and the giant trenches being carved for tens of thousands of burned
carcasses therefore appear to be the price of global food trade -- the same
trade, moreover, that apparently brought the latest outbreak of the disease to
Britain from Asia. Is the price worth paying?
Those who say not point to the damage that the mass slaughter inflicts on
Britain's rural tourist economy. Britain earns less than $1 billion a year from
meat and dairy exports. But the likely cost to tourism comes to about $6
billion. The decision to close country footpaths has therefore been attacked as
excessively deferential to farm interests, just as the mass slaughter has been
decried as barbaric. To the critics, an alternative policy of vaccinating
animals, which the Netherlands has adopted, seems apparently wiser.
The truth is not so simple. The destruction of animals needs to be put into
perspective: In a normal period, Britain slaughters 600,000 animals per week for
food. Moreover, although the funeral pyres reflect Britain's concern over its
export markets, it is not just that: Animals that get foot-and-mouth stop
producing milk and gain little weight even after recovery, so they yield less
for local consumers. It may still be the case that the agricultural cost of the
disease is smaller than the tourism cost of drastic containment. But it is a
Though the worldwide movement of food is connected with the epidemic, it would
be wrong to point the finger at recent trade liberalization. The contaminated
Asian meat that caused the British outbreak appears to have been imported
illegally, which suggests the problem is not the fault of official trade policy.
Moreover, agricultural tariffs have scarcely been touched by recent trade
agreements, and continuing protection has ensured that Britain imports less food
from non-European Union countries than it did a generation ago. Finally, it is
worth remembering that foot-and-mouth disease has been endemic in the localized
economies of contemporary Africa, as it was in 19th-century Europe.
The clearest lesson from the British outbreak is not about trade but about
something much simpler. Britain has managed the disease badly. Another epidemic
in Denmark in 1982 was limited to only 22 cases, because the Danes compressed
the time between diagnosis and slaughter to around 15 hours. In Britain, by
contrast, the gap was two to three days in the first weeks. The government has
since learned its lesson: It has thrown more resources at the disease, even
ordering the army to help; and the epidemic now seems to be receding. Had the
British government acted forcefully from the beginning, we might have been
spared this latest debate on globalization.
If anyone wants to respond to this, here's the info: Editorial Policy
Letters must be exclusive to The Washington Post, and must include the writer's
home address and home and business telephone numbers. Because of space
limitations, those published are subject to abridgment. Although we are unable
to acknowledge those letters we cannot publish, we appreciate the interest and
value the views of those who take the time to send us their comments.
Letters Via E-Mail - Send e-mail letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There's a pretty good qualitative risk assessment re introduction
of foreign animal disease by travelers online at:
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE:
ARE LLAMAS AND ALPACAS AT RISK?
David E Anderson, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS
Associate Professor, Food Animals
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio 43210
Phone: 614-292-6661; Fax: 614-292-0895
Based on the inquiries I have gotten over the past few weeks, I feel it
would be timely to mention a few words about the current scare in Europe
with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). As many of you know, I have been
preaching biosecurity as an issue for the future for the industry. You have
only to talk to the llama and alpaca owners in the United Kingdom to see
how this can effect you whether you like it or not!
Are llamas and alpacas at risk? Unfortunately, the answer is both yes and
no. Yes, llamas and alpacas have been infected with FMD. No they do not
appear to be very susceptible to it. FMD infection in alpacas in Peru was
confirmed in the 1970's. FMD risk in llamas and alpacas was researched in
the USA and Argentina. Routes of infection included tongue scarification,
intra-muscular injection, intra-dermal injection, intravenous injection,
and cohabitation. Llamas and alpacas appear to be fairly resistant of
infection by natural exposure (cohabitation) but can and do succumb to
infection when any of the other exposure methods were used. Infected llamas
developed mild clinical signs including fever, anorexia, lesions to the
footpads, and lameness. Virus did not persist in any llamas beyond 14 days
after infection. Certainly, the risk of llamas or alpacas becoming infected
seems extremely low.
Fondevila et al studied the susceptibility of llamas to FMD natural
exposure in a biocontainment facility in Argentina. This was a
collaborative study between CICV and INTA in Argentina and the USDA and
APHIS in the United States. In that study, llamas were exposed by
cohabitation to FMD strains A-79, C-3, and O-1. Of 30 llamas exposed to FMD
virus infected pigs, only 3 showed any evidence of infection and only 2
llamas (exposed to the O-1 strain) showed any clinical signs of infection.
No llamas exposed to A-79 or C-3 strains of FMD showed signs of infection.
Clinical signs were extremely mild. More importantly, FMD virus could not
be recovered from any specimen obtained from the infected llamas beyond 14
days post-exposure. Ten cattle, 10 sheep, 10 goats, 10 pigs, and 30 other
llamas were exposed to the 30 llamas that had been exposed to the FMD virus
infected pigs. None of these animals showed any clinical signs of disease.
Lubroth et al studied the susceptibility of llamas to FMD by cohabitation
and by inoculation. This was a study conducted by the USDA in a
biocontainment facility. In this study, 3 swine, 1 bull, and 6 llamas were
used. FMD virus strain A-24 was used. In-Group I, 1 llama was inoculated
with FMD A-24 by giving 2 ml intra-lingually, 2 ml intranasal, and 1 ml in
the footpad. After 24 hours, 3 swine were introduced to the room for 7
days. All 3 swine showed clinical signs of FMD after 3 to 4 days of
exposure. The llama showed fever, excessive salivation, lameness, and
anorexia. In Group II, one calf was inoculated with FMD A-24 by
intra-lingual and intranasal routes. After 24 hours, 2 llamas were
introduced to the room. One of the two llamas developed mild clinical signs
of FMD as evidenced by fever on day 2, and oral lesions noted on day 4. In
Group III, one llama was inoculated with FMD A-24 intranasal. After 24
hours, 2 llamas were introduced to the room for 7 days. One of the 2 llamas
developed mild foot lesions only. FMD virus could not be detected in any
llama beyond 8 days post-inoculation or post-exposure.
These two studies lead us to believe that llamas are much more resistant
to "natural" FMD virus infection compared with cattle, sheep, goats, and
pigs where the morbidity of disease is expected to approach 100 %. Further
and most importantly, llamas do not appear to "carry" the virus for
prolonged periods of time as is seen with cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs.
What we do not know is whether or not low-level cycling of the virus, as
has been documented in sheep flocks, occurs in llamas and alpacas because
there may be some difficulty in identifying the virus if intermittent
shedding takes place. Based on these studies, a policy of livestock
separation (to diminish high concentration cohabitation exposure risk) and
quarantine of all camelids with no movement or visitation would seem
reasonable and prudent.
What is it? FMD is a viral infection of cloven-footed animals (virus is
family Picronaviridae, genus Aphthovirus, 7 serotypes: A, O, C, SAT1, SAT2,
SAT3, ASIA1, and at least 60 subtypes - a very adaptable virus!). It most
seriously effects cattle but swine, sheep, and goats can be severely
affected at times. !). FMD has been referred to as the most contagious
disease of livestock. Infection with some strains of FMD appears to be
restricted to a specific species. The virus does not appear to infect
horses or people but there is a concern that any animal may act as a
vehicle to spread the virus. The plethora of serotypes and subtypes makes
effective vaccination extremely difficult because little cross-protection
exists between serotypes. This is one reason why slaughter, where
practical, has been used to control and eradicate the disease. People do
not appear to be susceptible to the disease unless severely immunocompromised.
Where is it? FMD has been enzootic to Africa, Europe, Asia, Japan,
Philippines, and South America. The spread of FMD is a critical concern to
countries that do not have it (e.g. North America, Australia, and New
Zealand). A good example of why FMD vigilance is critical: FMD was
successfully eradicated from Canada after it had been introduced in the
baggage of a European immigrant. Britain suffered a massive outbreak in
1967-68 possibly as a result of feeding infected Argentine lamb to swine.
That outbreak was controlled and the disease eradicated as was a smaller
outbreak in 1980. The British survived that outbreak, you can be sure they
will survive this one! The last reported case in the USA was in 1929. FMD
was eradicated from Mexico in 1954. Thus, all of North America is currently
free of FMD. Apparently the Darien Gap (between Columbia and Panama) and
prevented northern spread of diseased cattle from South America. With the
completion of the Pan American highway the risk of northern spread today
may be much different than several years ago. New Zealand has never had a
case of FMD and Australia has only suffered one small outbreak that was
immediately confined and successfully eradicated.
What does it do? FMD is most severe in cattle and causes fever and
vesicles in the mouth and on the feet. These cause lameness and decreased
feed intake because of pain. The virus takes from 1 to 7 days from the time
of infection to the development of clinical signs but the animal may be
shedding the virus in milk or saliva for up to 24 hours before vesicles
appear. At this time, high fever (104-106 F), low milk production, poor
appetite, and depression are noted. Excessive salivation is present and
vesicles (fluid filled pockets) are noted on the buccal mucosa, dental pad,
and tongue. The vesicles rupture within 24 hours leaving a painful lesion.
Vesicles also occur around the coronary band causing lameness. As vesicles
heal, animals return to eating over several days, but may take up to 6
months to fully recover. Occasionally, the heart muscle is damaged and
acute deaths ensue. Diarrhea, sometimes including blood may be seen. In
sheep, goats and swine, the disease is usually much less severe. As few as
5% of affected sheep in infected flocks show any clinical signs of disease.
Fever, anorexia, and general lassitude may be observed along with
lameness, with or without foot lesions. Foot lesions are usually in the
interdigital space, along the coronary band, and on the bulb of the heel.
Oral lesions are less common and may disappear by the time foot lesions
appear. When they do occur, they are likely to be on the back of the
dorsal surface of the tongue rather than the tip and may be more necrotic
than vesicular. Lesions may also occur on the dental pad and lips (usually
small), teats, vulva, prepuce, and rumenal mucosa. Sudden death in
apparently healthy lambs may be the most obvious sign of infection in the
flock and is generally the result of myocardial lesions.
How deadly is it? FMD rapidly spreads within a herd and essentially 100% of
susceptible animals become infected and show clinical signs of the disease.
FMD is not considered a particularly lethal disease. Death rates rarely
exceed 2% in adults and 20 % in young stock. There have been outbreaks with
up to 50% mortality. However, prolonged convalescence causes severe losses
in production and health, cripples animal industries, and severely inhibits
travel and tourism.
Where does it come from? There are a variety of species that allow the
virus to persist or serve to spread the infection. Some include elephants,
capybara, hedgehogs, coypu, rodents, birds, and wild ruminants (Roe deer,
muntjac, sika deer, fallow and red deer, water buffalo). These animals may
not show clinical signs, but may harbor the virus to allow later spread of
the infection to susceptible species. These species are not likely to play
a major role in transmission because of lack of contact with susceptible
species. Several reports indicate that, among sheep, the virus may persist
at a low-level in the absence of clinical disease with cycling between
infected and susceptible animals. Although sheep may be carriers of the
virus for up to 5 to 9 months, they tend to excrete it at relatively low
levels and perhaps intermittently. The risk of transmission to other
species appears to be highest during the early stages of either clinical or
subclinical infection. Virulence varies with the infecting strain, and
those strains adapted to sheep and goats may exhibit variable virulence for
other species. African buffalo may harbor the virus for up to 28 months!
Goats may also serve as carriers of the disease. One study in Kenya showed
that goats served a minor role in transmission to cattle and that sheep
were not significant carriers. In other outbreaks, sheep meat imported from
infected areas appear to have been the origin of infection. Swine are
considered an "amplifier host" because of the tremendous number of viral
particles they release into the air (estimated at 1500 times greater than
that produced by cattle).
How is it spread? The virus may be spread by inhalation or ingestion.
Initial outbreaks are most commonly caused by ingestion (e.g. infected
meat), but rapid spread within a herd is likely via inhalation (airborne
virus). Moderate temperatures, overcast skies and high humidity appear to
facilitate wind-borne spread. Virus spread has been estimated to be as far
as 62 miles (100 kilometers)! Up to 50 % of infected animals may remain as
carriers of the disease for at least 6 months. The virus can be spread by
contaminated semen, meat and milk products. Virus could be recovered from
nasal secretion of PEOPLE for up to 28 hours after working with infected
cattle. In England, one estimate of how the disease was spread included
birds (16%), meat products in pig food (40%), meat and bones (7%), unknown
(7%), and obscure (28%).
Can we kill the virus? FMD is a very stable virus. It can survive up to 1
year in the environment, 10 to 12 weeks on clothing and feed, and 30 days
on hair! Sunlight, boiling, and autoclaving rapidly destroy the virus. The
virus can survive flash pasteurization of dairy products. Most
disinfectants and meat packing industry techniques do not destroy the
virus. Disinfectants seem to have little effect on this virus. However,
sodium hydroxide (1-2%), formalin (1-2%), or sodium carbonate (4%) will
destroy the virus within a few minutes. If you travel in an area that has
and active outbreak of FMD, you should use disposable shoes and clothing
(e.g. coveralls), shower extensively after the visit and before traveling,
and preferably stay away from any farm for at least 30 days upon returning.
Currently, the USDA recommends a 5-day waiting period before entering a
farm or having contact with other livestock. The best bet is to stay clear
of infected areas during active outbreaks of disease.
Do animals become immune? Cattle mount an effective immune response to FMD
that lasts up to 4 years. Swine immunity persists for only 7 to 8 months.
Immunity is relatively specific to the serotype involved in the exposure.
New outbreaks with different serotypes can occur at any time.
How is it diagnosed? There are multiple tests that have been used including
tissue culture, virus neutralization, compliment fixation tests,
experimental infection, PCR techniques, and ELISA tests. A
government-approved laboratory must perform these tests. FMD is a federally
reportable disease in the USA. FMD must be differentiated from other
vesicular diseases including vesicular stomatitis, vesicular exanthema of
swine, swine vesicular disease, and bluetongue.
Is there a vaccine? Yes, but success of vaccination programs has been
highly variable because of the multitude of serotypes and subtypes.
Vaccination may or may not prevent infection or the establishment of
carriers. The most common types are killed virus trivalent forms.
Vaccination in the USA is not permitted. Suspected cases of FMD are
required to be reported to federal authorities for investigation and
immediate responses to control spread.
Fowler ME. Medicine and Surgery of South American Camelids. Iowa State
University Press. 1998, pp153-155
Blood DC, Radostits OM. Foot and Mouth Disease. In: Blood DC, Radostits OM
(eds), Veterinary Medicine (7th Edition). Bailliere and Tindall, 1989,
Lubroth J, Yedloutschnig RJ, Culhane VK, Mikiciuk PE. Foot-and-mouth
disease virus in the llama (Lama glama): diagnosis, transmission, and
susceptibility. J Vet Diagn Invest 1990;2:197-203.
Fondevila NA, Marcoveccio FJ, Viera JB, O'Donnell VK, Carrillo BJ, Schudel
AA, David M, Torres A, Mebus CA. Susceptibility of Llamas (Lama glama) to
infection with foot-and-mouth disease virus. J Vet Med 1995;B42:595-599.
Barnett, BV, Cox SJ. The role of small ruminants in the epidemiology and
transmission of foot-and-mouth disease. The Veterinary Journal 1999;158:6-13.
Callens M., De Clercq K, Gruia M. and Danes M. Detection of foot-and-mouth
disease by reverse tanscription polymerase chain reaction and virus
isolation in contact sheep without clinical signs of foot-and-mouth
disease. Veterinary Quarterly 1998;20(Suppl 2):S37-40.
Radostits OM, Gay CC, Blood DC, Hinchcliff KW. Veterinary Medicine (9th
ed.). WB Saunders.
House JA, House CA. Vesicular Diseases. In: Straw BE, D'Allaire S,
Mengeling WL, Taylor DJ (eds). Diseases of Swine (8th ed.) Iowa State
University Press. 1999, pp. 327-340.
The following information was abstracted from: http://aleffgroup.com/avisfmd/
FMD virus is sensitive to pH. Virus survival is optimal between
pH 7.2 and 7.6. At pHs above 9 and below 6 the virus is rapidly destroyed.
For this reason either acids (e.g., citric acid) or bases (e.g., caustic
soda or sodium carbonate) are effective at inactivating the virus,
particularly in combination with detergents to ensure penetration of
organic material. At higher temperatures the effect of pH on virus survival
is increased whereas at low temperatures it is reduced.
Survival of FMD virus is pH dependent:
pH (4ºC/39F) Inactivation time
2 1 min
4 2 min
5.5 30 min
5.8 18 hours
11 2 hours
12 2.5 min
13 2.5 min
For disinfection of premises and equipment it is not generally necessary to
go to the expense of using proprietary disinfectants. The use of an
appropriate acid or alkali, together with a detergent to assist penetration
of organic matter, is usually sufficient. Many of the agents used are
dangerous and all appropriate safety measures should be taken, including
the use of masks, eye protection and protective clothing.
Citric acid 0.2% solution
Ten per cent stock solutions may be held in airtight sterile containers for
up to two weeks. Effectiveness improved by addition of small quantity (no
more than ml/liter) of detergent. Suitable for milking equipment and bulk
tanks. pH should be <4.
Formalin 10.0% solution (containing no less than 34% formaldehyde).
For use mix 1:9 with water. Suitable for spraying on hay, straw, bedding, etc.
Produced by action of formalin on potassium permanganate *Lethal Danger*
Great care must be taken with the use of formaldehyde gas as it is
extremely noxious. This agent should only be used by experienced personnel
with the appropriate equipment.
Ortho-phosphoric acid 0.3% solution
Effectiveness improved by addition of small quantity (no more than 3
ml/liter) of detergent. Suitable for milking equipment and bulk tanks. pH
should be <4.
Sodium carbonate 4.0% solution
Effectiveness improved by addition of small quantity (no more than 3
ml/liter) of detergent. Suitable for animal pens and similar areas. pH
should be >10.
Sulphamic acid 0.2% solution
Stable in solution, and particularly suitable for metal, painted surfaces,
plastics and rubber.
Effectiveness improved by addition of small quantity (no more than 3
ml/liter) of detergent. Suitable for milking equipment and bulk tanks. pH
should be <6.
Note that acid and alkali disinfectants, dependent for their activity on
pH, should not be mixed.
HMD virus can survive for long periods of time in dark, moist conditions
but is rapidly inactivated by a combination of desiccation, pH and
Practical examples of HMD virus survival under temperate conditions
Dry Feces 14 days
Slurry 6 months
Urine 39 days
- Summer 3 days
- Winter 3 days to 28 days
Temperature (C/F) Survival
4/39 1 year
22/72 8-10 weeks
37/99 10 days
56/133 < 30 minutes
Meat, offal, semen, milk and ova from infected animals can carry virus to
Conditions used to preserve these products can also preserve live HMD
virus. However, the reduction in pH of meat at post mortem due to
accumulation of lactic acid is usually sufficient to kill HMD virus. There
is no change of pH in the glands and bone marrow, and the virus will
persist between 4ºC or -20ºC.
HMD virus will survive in milk, and deep frozen semen and ova. Experiments
on survival of HMD virus in milk and milk components from infected cattle
have demonstrated that pasteurization at temperatures between 72ºC (161F)
and 95ºC (203F) for 15-17 seconds fails to sterilize completely. Virus can
also survive further heat treatment at 65ºC (149F) for 1 hour. Heating of
infected milk to between 100ºC (212F) and 138ºC (280F) for 2-3 seconds
fails to inactivate infection, but no virus can be detected, by animal
inoculation, after treatment at 148ºC (298F) for 2-3 seconds.
David E Anderson, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Associate Professor of Surgery, Food Animal
601 Vernon L Tharp Street
College of Veterinary Medicine
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio 43210
VISIT OUR WEB-SITES:
THIS MAY BE OF INTEREST. CERTAINLY CAMELS ARE DIFFERENT FROM LLAMAS AND
ALPACAS, BUT REGULATORY OFFICIALS ARE MONITORING THESE EVENTS. IT IS NOT
Ministry steps up vaccination drive against FMD
The department of agriculture and water in Majmaa, where 20 camels died of
foot and mouth disease (FMD) last week, has started a campaign to vaccinate
some 7500 cows against the viral disease, according to Nasir Al-Hosainan,
director of the department.
Speaking to Arab News, he said there were no fresh cases of FMD infection
in the region. He urged cattle owners to bring their animals from pasturing
areas to the pens to give them the vaccines.
Agriculture and Water Minister Dr. Abdullah Muammar said more than 2400 FMD
cases had been detected at 46 farms in the country.
"46 sites infected with FMD have been registered up until Sunday" in
different regions throughout Saudi Arabia, said the minister. He said 2417
animals -- 1767 cattle, 650 sheep and goats -- had been infected, adding 88
cattle and 141 sheep and goats had died while 30 others had been slaughtered.
He said veterinary teams would continue to test cattle in all the Kingdom's
provinces to detect new cases of the disease as well as isolating infected
sites. The minister urged farmers to "notify the authorities immediately
after the disease manifests itself." The Agriculture Ministry will continue
to distribute vaccines, he added.
Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Sheiha, director of the agriculture and water
department in Riyadh, said 7 confirmed FMD cases had been reported in the
region. They were discovered in Dareyya, Ainiya, Muzahamiya, Huraimala,
Alkharj, Majmaa and Wadi Al-Dawasir. He also reported suspected FMD cases
in the region.
Speaking to Al-Jazirah newspaper, Sheiha said the ministry had taken
precautionary steps to contain the disease. "We have also enlightened
farmers on how to protect their animals from the disease," he added.
Meanwhile, a committee from the environmental health department is
currently conducting a survey of farms having reported suspected FMD cases.
A number of cattle farms in Qatif, Jubail and Ahsa reported suspected cases
of FMD in recent days.
David E Anderson, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Associate Professor of Surgery, Food Animal
Passing this along from numerous sources, with permission:
Not for the oversensitive, like me.... I hate crying when I have a head
cold. I have tried to select the most important parts, truth about what's
happening, and places to get info and write to. I'm not very good at this
kind of thing, so I hope it's helpful. Of course none of the "click on"
stuff works. I don't know how to do that. Anyway, I ask that at you all
find room for Michael and Sandra, Anne, Rodney, Laurie and Catherine in your
"SO FAR, we have managed to avoid the horror. I am safe TODAY in as that I
am 10 miles away from an infected farm. BUT I am in Cumbria, the worst hit county
and that doesn't mean today or tomorrow it will mean the end of my 6 llamas.
Michael and Sandra need ALL your support as they have a suspected case within
a mile of their home. I haven't spoken with Michael today, but the case
could be confirmed, which could mean he is within one of the ridiculous cull
zones, ESPECIALLY since he has pet sheep as well. Since I am an American, I
have never had to deal with type of problem before, and I can tell you,,,,,it
is not something I want to deal with again. It is horrible. You can't sleep
at night for fear of your animals being killed, for fear of your friend's and
local farmer's animals being killed. Michael once told me if the worst
happened, he would stand by and hold each one of his llamas as they were
shot. That is a nightmare scenario that has stuck in my brain and my
nightmares since he said it. He has 23 or so llamas and many
pregnant........can you imagine having to deal with that? They are not
INCOME or an INVESTMENT to him, he just loves having them around! I, myself,
have already told my husband , that if the worst happens and if my babies
have to be put down........I have to go away. It doesn't matter
where.......I just cannot deal with it. I know I'm a coward but just the
thought.........although I realize if my husband couldn't stand by and make
sure it was done completely humanely,,,,i would have to be there.
Anyway, I 'm bound to be babbling now because the tears are streaming down my
face. I feel very close to Michael & Sandra and their llamas/sheep because
we talk every day and they have been a GREAT help in our crusade to save
camelids (unlike the council on our British Llama & Alpaca Assoc.). I want
nothing more than to run down there in the car and be supportive and help in
any way I can...but i CAN'T because of the infection everywhere.
We have already (probably) lost 1 llama and 100 alpacas....regardless of our
fight and letter to MAFF with over 60 supporters. This does not include
Anne Young's 100 alpacas and 200 merino sheep (which are sure to be next up)
The government have finally started to do something about the horrible
situation but because they going at it FULL BLAST, we probably don't stand a
chance in Hell for our camelids.
I think it will be a case by case scenario.
Please keep your notes of support and encouragement coming. The depression
is unimaginable. We may not be able to reply,,,,and we may be ignoring the
list for now....but we are desperate and horribly depressed."
Laurie in Cumbria
"you can keep in touch and watch for email, phone number and fax lists: at <A
HREF="www.merinosheep.com">www.merinosheep.com where Bob Rawlins has set
up a website for those of us involved."
North Yorkshire, UK
"You can email a newspaper (the Guardian) newsdesk at
and ask they put up an article on Camelids and FMD. This is what I sent them:
Someone PLEASE put up an article on the Guardian site about camelids and FMD.
(Alpacas and llamas).
Camelids are not susceptible to Foot and Mouth Disease. Professor David
Anderson, DVM, Professor at Ohio State University and leading authority of
health and well being of camelids, has stated that llamas and alpacas are very
resistant to infection by natural exposure, *however*, do succumb to infection
by intradermal and intramuscular injection.
I understand that on the basis of such evidence - the Swiss Alpaca Association
have agreed with the Authorities, that strict quarantine and blood tests would
be used if other livestock were infected nearby. Germany is also looking to
the same agreement. European colleagues are also astounded by the incompetence
of U.K. Officials who are not yet approving vaccination! The Netherlands got
permission to vaccinate yesterday and already some States in Germany have
agreed to vaccinate.
Here is another email address for them, sent your comments to both
mailto:email@example.comI couldn't find the exact address
provided above, but did locate a few
committees in Parliament. I've sent letters to the below email addresses:
"This was just posted from the UK:
'I am going to keep this as brief as possible. It is being written through a
haze of tears, whiskey and disbelief. Our alpacas were destroyed this morning.
They were slaughtered on grounds of "dangerous contact". We have been told by
maff that although they are not very susceptible they are considered to be
serial converters. The vet on site has explained this as meaning they can be
carriers and transmitters without showing symptoms. I will try and give more
details later of our circumstances in the hope that it may help someone else.
Can't face it just now. Anne, I will try and phone you later. Bob thanks for
your help. Best wishes and good luck to you all Rodney Ware'
"You can post your thoughts to Rodney at
"President of the SPVS - practising Vets is Andrew Robinson BVSc email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or click mailto:email@example.com"
"British Veterinary Association www.bva.co.uk email: firstname.lastname@example.org or click
"Jim Scudamore and Rt Hon David Maclean are both on the Privy Council of the
Royal College of Veterinary"
"Surgeons email: email@example.com or click mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org"
"President of RCVS is Mr Roger Eddy - BVetMed FRCVC http://www.vie.gla.ac.uk"
"Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine Executive
Committee Pres. Stuart Reid - Glasgow email : stuart.reidvet.gla.ac.uk or
"Federation of Veterinarians of Europe http://www.fve.org"
"What with the weather and the foot and mouth... A suspected case
two miles away, so I guess all the livestock belonging to my friends
and neighbours will shortly be slaughtered, including a herd of rare
North Devon cattle which one of my neighbours has maintained since
time immemorial, probably before all those folk left South Devon for
a boat ride west....
I stopped to talk to an old farm labourer in the road earlier today.
He described visiting the patriarch of this family (his sons run the
farm nowadays, but he still lives there and is very much involved).
The man was sitting at a table with tears streaming down his face,
but begged my labourer friend to promise not to tell his sons...
Again I say this is a disaster of epic proportions. My prayers go out to
tml 55 cases in Argentina
Second FMD Outbreak in France
Questions and Answers About Vaccination
Lots of FMD articles from BBC
Second Vermont Sheep Herd Seized
"Dear all ,
It has been a gut wrenching day for us all in the Uk today. We all feel so
bad for Rodney , Joanne and the kids, they loved those alpacas so much.
Today we feel overwhelmed with what has happened. We have had two long days
on the phone to Maff vets , MP's all to no avail. But this is only the
beginning and we all need to pick ourselves up to carry on the fight, , as
it has along way to run yet..
To give you an indication of what a bloody shambles it is here, this is
what happened over the last few days.
Govt advisor on TV tells us it is out of control with up to 70 cases a
day,lasting to August, with up to 4000 cases. The agriculture minister then
tells us it is still under control. Then we are told that they will have a
1.8 mile radius of every effected farm and kill all animals in this area.
Then this is changed 4 hours later to just sheep and pigs. Yesterday we
were told that the 1.8 mile radius was for Cumbria only and the rest of the
country it would be the the effected farm and the neighbouring one. Then
today we were told by a junior minister on the radio that the 1.8 mile
radius culls would take place all over the country. Over the last two days
I have rang maff 10 times and still do not no if i am in the cull area or
not. It is a national disgrace.
It is very worrying when you are so close but cannot find an answer.
Besides this I am helping Mary and Laurie and many others to try to save as
many camelids as we can. But today's slaughter has put a different
complexion on things. The major point is that maff is ignoring the science
of camelids. WE would like to thank Murray Fowler for all his help he has
given us in this area.
We are at present gathering our thoughts for our next move. I would like to
thank everyone out there for there support.
For me personally I really cannot understand why we do not vaccinate all
our animals and stop this unnecessary killing, its the 21st century not the
Middle Ages. All the gov't,.vets and advisors have a lot to answer for to let
this virus get so out of control and kill so many healthy animals, it is
News just in, there are confirmed cases in the Lake District National Park,
This is an awful disaster. The farm was confirmed 36 hours ago and the
animals are still alive and have now spread it to another farm. According
to the advisors this is only the beginning. The nightmare goes on.
Finally it has taken two American ladies, Laurie and Mary to get something
going and I would just like to thank Laurie for all the amazing support she
has given me and Sandra, we love her dearly.
We will keep you informed, on a very sad day for camelid owners .
Michael & Sandra
This is info from the AOBA web page
The author is a member and serves on the BOD of AOBA.
(Alpaca Owners & Breeders Assn.)
Frequently asked questions about Foot and Mouth Disease
Julie Ann Jarvinen, PhD, DVM
The recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Great Britain has
caused concern among alpaca breeders in the US. Between February 20, 2001
when the first case of FMD was detected in Great Britain and March 21, 2001
a total of 421 cases of FMD have been confirmed there, over 220,000 animals
have been slaughtered and thousands more are scheduled for slaughter. On
March 12, 2001 the presence of FMD in France was confirmed when six bovine
cases of the disease were detected. The following information, compiled from
the references listed below, will answer most questions about FMD. Further
details as well as updates on the outbreak in Great Britain can be accessed
on the web sites listed. Given the current US import restrictions on animals
and animal products from countries with FMD, the most likely route of
exposure to FMD for alpaca breeders appears to be via travelers. Individuals
entering the US from areas of the FMD outbreak could carry FMD virus (FMDV)
on their body or their belongings. According to the USDA, there is a
moderate risk of mechanical transmission of FMD from a contaminated person
to an animal. Concerned breeders should review the precautions for travelers
listed below, consult the web sites for more information and use common
sense regarding visitors from areas where outbreaks of FMD are occurring.
What is foot and mouth disease?
Foot and mouth disease is a highly contagious viral disease of the Family
Picornaviridae, Genus Aphthovirus that affects domestic and wild animals
with cloven feet (i.e. the foot is divided into two parts). Swine, cattle,
sheep, and goats are most susceptible. Animals infected with FMDV will
typically develop a fever followed by vesicles (blisters) on the mouth,
tongue, lips, soft palate, nostrils, teats and feet. These vesicles rupture
soon after they develop resulting in the exposure of raw sensitive tissue
underneath. Lesions of the oral cavity cause excessive salivation and make
eating painful so animals will go “off feed”. Lesions on the feet cause
lameness so animals are reluctant to move and often prefer to lie down.
Infected animals can shed the virus in their breath, saliva, feces, urine,
milk and semen even before lesions appear, but the largest quantity of FMDV
is present in fluid from the blisters. There is no cure for FMD. Typical
death rates range from 2% in adults to 20% in young animals, but can be
greater. Most animals recover within several weeks, but suffer prolonged
decreased productivity. Some animals can carry FMDV for months to years
after recovery and could serve as a source of infection.
Are South American camelids (llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicunas)
susceptible to FMD?
Yes, but they are less susceptible than swine or ruminants and probably do
not become long-term carriers of the virus. In studies conducted in South
America and the US, all llamas, alpacas and a vicuna inoculated directly
with FMDV were susceptible to infection. However, camelids were relatively
resistant to infection by contact with FMD infected animals. In the US
study, two of four llamas housed with FMD-infected llamas or swine acquired
FMD infection. In the South American studies, none of four llamas and three
of five alpacas housed with FMD infected cattle acquired FMD. Clinically
affected camelids developed typical signs of FMD within 96 hours after virus
inoculation or 10 days after contact exposure. The US study demonstrated
that clinically affected llamas could transmit FMD infection to other
animals by contact. In parts of South America where FMD is endemic, it is
not considered a common or significant camelid disease and few camelid cases
have been reported when outbreaks have occurred in ruminants.
The US researchers also demonstrated that llamas infected by direct
inoculation or by contact with FMD infected animals had detectable FMDV in
the pharynx at 7 but not at 14 days after either exposure or inoculation and
concluded that llamas are unlikely to become chronic carriers. The study
verified that laboratory tests used to diagnose FMD in ruminants or swine
also detect FMD in llamas. As susceptible species, camelids would likely be
subject to the same control measures as swine and ruminants in an FMD
outbreak. In the US, vesicular stomatitis is the only disease affecting
camelids that could be confused with FMD. Both diseases produce very similar
lesions and require laboratory tests for an accurate diagnosis. Because of
the similarity to FMD, suspected cases of vesicular stomatitis in camelids
must be reported to federal authorities.
How is FMD spread?
FMD can spread whenever susceptible animals come into physical contact with
either infected animals or people and materials contaminated with FMDV and
inhale or ingest the virus. The virus can survive in carcasses of infected
animals so meat and animal by-products can transmit infection unless they
are processed in a way that will inactivate the virus. Semen from infected
bulls, feed containing meat or by-products from infected animals, and
products such as hides, wool or vaccines derived from infected animals can
all transmit infection as can facilities, vehicles, pasture, hay, straw,
feeds, or water contaminated with the virus. Depending upon temperature and
pH conditions, FMDV can persist in the environment for about a month (a year
on premises where infected animals occurred), and the virus can be carried
for considerable distances by air movement. Although humans are rarely
affected by FMD, they can spread the disease to animals. Humans can harbor
FMDV in their nasal passages and shed it in their saliva or breath for 28-36
hours after exposure to infected animals. However, humans are far more
likely to spread FMD mechanically by carrying the virus on their body,
clothing or personal items. Past outbreaks in the US were attributed to
importation of infected livestock (prior to implementation of strict animal
quarantine procedures) or introduction of materials contaminated with FMDV
e.g. cowpox for vaccine production, tanning industry materials, and garbage
from foreign ships.
How can FMD virus be destroyed?
According to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), FMDV is
inactivated by temperatures over 50(C, by pH <6.0 (slightly acidic) or >9.0
(alkaline) and by solutions of 2% sodium hydroxide, 4% sodium bicarbonate or
0.2% citric acid.
If FMD is not a “killer disease” and rarely infects humans, why are we so
FMD last occurred in the US in 1929 and vaccination against FMD is illegal
in this country. As a result, our livestock population lacks immunity to the
virus and is highly susceptible to infection. If FMD were introduced into
the US, the disease would spread rapidly unless it was detected early and
quickly eradicated. Vaccination, although helpful, would not eliminate the
risk of FMD. There are seven different virus types plus many subtypes and
immunity against one type does not protect against the others. Furthermore,
immunity following vaccination is not 100% effective and it is short-lived
necessitating revaccination every 4-12 months. According to the US Animal
Health Association, the direct and indirect costs of allowing FMD to exist
in the US could be as high as 25% of the total value of the entire livestock
What precautions are being taken to prevent FMD from entering the United
FMD is endemic in parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America.
There were outbreaks of FMD in Mexico and Canada during 1952-1954 and Great
Britain in 1981. In 2000, twenty outbreaks of FMD occurred in various parts
of the world. The potential introduction of FMD into the US has been an
ongoing concern since the disease was eliminated from this country in 1929.
Current US policy is to prevent introduction of FMD through the embargo of
animals and animal products from FMD affected countries and through customs
regulations for international travelers. This policy is considered far more
economical than allowing the disease to become established here. Travelers
entering the US must report all visits to farms or other livestock
facilities in FMD infected areas and they must declare all materials of
plant or animal origin in their possession on the U.S. Customs Declaration
Form. Customs officials confiscate all items of plant or animal origin.
Importation of ruminants and ruminant products from Great Britain US was
already banned in 1989 prior to the recent FMD outbreak as a precaution
against the introduction of bovine spongiform encephalitis. The ban was
expanded to include swine and most products derived from ruminants and swine
in January 2001. On March 13, 2001 following confirmation of FMD in France,
the ban was expanded further to include the importation of animals and
animal products from the entire European Union. The USDA has also outlined
procedures for importation of horses and for pets entering the US from FMD
What is recommended for travelers coming to the US from FMD infected areas?
The USDA recommends the following precautions for travelers coming to the US
from all regions infected with FMD.
1. Avoid farms, sale barns, stockyards, animal laboratories, packinghouses,
zoos, fairs, or other animal facilities for 5 days prior to travel.
2. Before leaving the foreign country, launder or dry-clean all clothing and
outerwear. All dirt and soil should be removed from shoes by thorough
cleaning prior to wiping with cloth dampened in bleach solution. (5
tablespoons of household bleach in 1 gallon of water) Luggage and personal
items (including watches, cameras, laptops, CD players and cell phones) if
soiled should be wiped with a cloth dampened with the bleach solution.
3. Avoid contact with livestock or wildlife for 5 days after arrival in the
4. Extra precautionary measures should be taken by people traveling from
farms in FMD areas to visit or work on farms in the United States. It is
advisable that employers or sponsors provide travelers with a clean set of
clothing that can be worn after the visitor showers and shampoos thoroughly.
Visitor’s clothing should be laundered or dry-cleaned immediately. Only
off-farm activities should be scheduled for the first 5 days in country and
contact with livestock or wildlife should be strictly avoided.
What should US travelers do if they plan to visit a farm or are in contact
with livestock while abroad?
All international travelers must state on their Customs declaration form
whether or not they have been on a farm or in contact with livestock and if
they are bringing any meat or dairy products with them. APHIS officials will
inspect the baggage of all travelers who indicate they have been on a farm
or in contact with livestock. Any soiled footwear must be disinfected with
detergent and bleach. If travelers are around livestock in Great Britain and
they have livestock at home in the United States, they should avoid contact
with their animals for 5 days after returning. In addition, soiled clothing
must be washed and disinfected prior to returning to the United States.
What would happen if FMD entered the US?
In the US, FMD is a reportable disease. That means any veterinarian who
suspects an animal might have FMD must report this to federal officials for
further investigation. The USDA would immediately take action to determine
if FMD is in fact present and quarantine the premises while testing is
conducted. If FMD were detected, slaughter and quarantine procedures would
be set in motion to prevent further spread of infection and to eradicate the
1. Anonymous. 1969. History of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in North
America. ARS 91-58-1, USDA.
2. Anonymous. 2000. International Animal Health Code-2000. Office
International des Epizooties, Chapter 2.1.1.
3. Bridges V and D Cummings. 1998. The potential for international travelers
to transmit foreign animal diseases to US livestock or poultry. USDA: APHIS:
VS, Ft. Collins, CO.
4. Fowler MF. 1998. Medicine and Surgery of South American Camelids, 2nd
edition. ISU Press, Ames, IA, pp. 153-155.
5. Kitching RP. 1998. A recent history of foot-and-mouth disease. Journal of
Comparative Pathology 118: 89-108.
6. Lubroth J, RJ Yedloutschnig, VK Culhane and PE Mikiciuk. 1990.
Foot-and-mouth disease virus in the llama (Lama glama): diagnosis,
transmission and susceptibility. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic
Investigation 2: 197-203.
7. Radostits OM, DC Blood and CC Gay. 1994. Veterinary Medicine, 8th ed.
Bailliere Tindall, London.
8. Web sites
a. US Department of Agriculture at www.usda.gov
b. US Animal Health Association at www.usaha.org
c. Office International des Epizooties at www.oie.int/
d. UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at www.maff.gov.uk
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