The FMD Team works closely with veterinarians, scientists, livestock producers and state and federal government agencies to follow daily production practices that protect the safety, wholesomeness and quality of their products. Through the use of innovative science, research and education initiatives, these practices reduce the risk of FMD or other foreign animal disease outbreaks while also making it possible to quickly detect and contain a disease if an outbreak did occur.
Examples of these specific livestock producer practices include:
- Staying informed about potential disease threats.
- Watching for FMD symptoms and other foreign animal diseases on a daily basis.
- Reporting any unusual or suspicious signs of disease to a veterinarian, representative from state or federal animal disease control, or a county agricultural agent.
- Ensuring that people wash their clothes and footwear before traveling to another farm, ranch or property.
- Isolating all sick animals.
- Purchasing feed from reputable sources.
- Minimizing fence line contact with neighboring animals.
- Keeping records of all disease occurrences.
- Disinfecting all vehicles and equipment brought onto the farm.
- Quarantining all new animals for 30 to 60 days.
- Ensuring all employees follow biosecurity and safety protocols through training and supervision.
In addition to daily monitoring, the FMD Cross-Species Team works with producers in regular foreign animal disease testing conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). On average, at least two routine foreign animal disease tests are conducted every day in the United States. Frequent testing ensures that all U.S. livestock products remain safe and wholesome.
U.S. livestock producers take great pride in protecting their animals’ health and safety, and the U.S. has set a high standard for animal health and disease prevention. As a result, there has not been a case of FMD in the U.S. since 1929.