Today, there are vaccinations for FMD, with relatively positive immunity results in cattle. The vaccine does not only prevent clinical disease but can help control FMD transmission. In the event of an outbreak, vaccinations would be one tool used in the fight. Concerns in recent years over the amount of vaccine available have been met with a concerted effort to build supplies. In 2020, Boehringer Ingelheim was awarded a contract by USDA to help supply a vaccine bank to protect US livestock. This is a strategic reserve of frozen vaccine antigen concentrate that can be quickly formulated into a vaccine. The company is the world leader in managing FMD vaccine banks, with 17 FMD banks being maintained for various countries and organizations.
IN THE EVENT OF AN OUTBREAK
Response to an outbreak would be guided through the National Response Framework, available to view at https://www.fema.gov/…. USDA would be the coordinating agency in the event of an outbreak. The APHIS Emergency Mobilization Guide notes the initial response to an incident will be handled at the local level.
Kansas veterinarian Justin Smith is at the forefront of developing plans in his state to deal with an emergency like this, and he producer told at Cattlemen’s College that the first thing they’d likely see would be that nationwide shutdown of movement. After that, once the extent of the outbreak was established, and the beef supply was secured, permitted movement could begin. That could take several weeks.
Smith noted that prior to an emergency of this scope, producers should have a premises identification number, because those would be required in the event of an outbreak to restart shipments. In addition, operations should consider naming a biosecurity manager, have in mind a clearly defined boundary as to access to their operation and livestock, have a daily health management plan, and be able to reduce staff and limit traffic to manage access. He suggested producers go through the Beef Quality Assurance templates to help them make a plan.
After an outbreak, and before movement began again, records would likely be required and reviewed. Some key records to have on hand would address proof of meeting the disease surveillance requirements, records of movement, visitors logs and previously implemented biosecurity plans.
To know what your state’s response plans are in the event of FMD, reach out to your state veterinarians’ office (https://www.usaha.org/…). This will help you be prepared in the event of an outbreak. In addition, utilize BQA biosecurity information and templates found here: https://www.bqa.org/….
Victoria Myers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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