FMD is not a public health concern and does not affect food safety. However, it is highly contagious among animals with cloven (divided) hooves, such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer. Controlling FMD, or eradicating it if an outbreak did occur, requires cooperation among those in agriculture, tourism and commerce as well as coordination among private industry groups and the government.

Does FMD affect humans?

FMD is not a threat to public health, and is not considered a human health concern.  It also does not affect the safety of meat products.

Could my pets be affected?

FMD does not affect dogs, cats, horses or other un-hooved animals. 

If FMD isn’t a risk to food or people, why is it a problem?

While FMD does not pose a risk to people, the economic consequences of an FMD outbreak in the United States would be significant. FMD permanently affects the health and productivity of animals contracting the disease, which can greatly impact the supply of meat products. If an outbreak did occur, travel would be restricted in affected areas, negatively impacting travel and commerce.

What is being done to prevent FMD from entering the United States?

The United States has not had an outbreak of FMD since 1929, thanks to an aggressive program of surveillance and prevention.  U.S. veterinary officials perform more than 800 investigations on suspect animals every year, and strict controls are in place on our borders to prevent livestock from being imported to the U.S. from areas where FMD is a concern. 

Emergency response planning is also a key part of U.S. efforts to combat FMD.  Through drills, exercises and other preparedness activities, emergency personnel are constantly training for an FMD threat. 

Additional Information

Additional information about FMD and the strategies in place to contain and eradicate the disease if an outbreak occurs is available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).