FMD and Prevention
Watch this video to learn more about foot-and-mouth disease. 
How does FMD affect consumers?

FMD is not a public health concern but an outbreak could ultimately threaten the entire U.S. economy. Click here to find out more.

What can livestock producers do?
Being prepared and informed is essential in keeping your farm and the U.S. livestock industry free from FMD. Get more information here.

Fact Sheet: Foot-and-Mouth Disease Testing and Surveillance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Homeland Security work diligently to control the factors that could lead to a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak among U.S. livestock. There are strict regulations and inspections that occur to prevent disease introduction into the U.S. In addition, farmers and ranchers monitor their herds for disease, and if FMD is suspected, they report it and work with federal and state animal health officials to determine if the disease is present and respond effectively. 

Suspicious signs of FMD or any foreign animal disease (FAD), must be immediately reported to state veterinarians, federal animal disease control officials, or county agricultural agents. Prompt reporting of FMD symptoms enables agencies to conduct an investigation, obtain a diagnosis, and contain an outbreak before it spreads. When a potential case of FMD is reported, an investigation of the affected herd begins immediately.

Within APHIS, the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) conducts foreign animal disease tests. If a suspected case of FMD is reported, APHIS will work with the animal health officials in the state where the report originated to send out foreign animal disease diagnosticians to the location. The diagnosticians, who are specially-trained to identify disease and determine its origin, would collect tissue and blood samples from affected animals and establish quarantines. Samples from foreign animal disease investigations receive immediate attention. Initial diagnostic results are typically available within 24 hours of sample collection. The USDA conducts an average of 400 to 500 foreign animal disease investigations every year, including tests for FMD. No cases of FMD have been discovered in the United States since 1929.

Coordinated Response
If test results confirm the presence of FMD, APHIS will work with state animal health officials to immediately investigate the source and trace all animals that may have come into contact with infected animals.

The state animal health officials provide updates to state and federal agencies on the investigation and may initiate emergency response efforts, if necessary. APHIS emergency response efforts include confirming the biosecurity of the affected operation, establishing and maintaining animal movement quarantines to contain the disease and protect other animals, and alerting officials in neighboring states. The APHIS Emergency Operations Center can be activated to begin coordinating with federal, state and local officials on communication and disease eradication efforts.

The livestock industry would also work closely with the USDA to provide regular updates to consumers and best practices to unaffected producers to help protect their livestock from infection.  

Ongoing Surveillance
The USDA conducts hundreds of field inquiries each year in an effort to detect potential signs of FMD or any foreign animal diseases. To protect U.S. livestock from foreign diseases, federal officials conduct screening of passengers, luggage, cargo, and packages at ports of entry and airports, and prohibit certain agricultural products from entering the country. On a global scale, USDA International Services officials are stationed around the world to monitor and coordinate with foreign governments on animal health issues. 

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