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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: About FMD

What is FMD?

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a serious animal disease that only affects wild and domestic animals with cloven (divided) hooves, such as cattle, swine, sheep, goats and deer. Dogs, cats, horses and other animals without cloven hooves are not susceptible to FMD. The FMD virus is highly contagious and easily spread among susceptible animals by wind, animals, people and vehicles. 

FMD is not a public health of food safety concern.

FMD is not related to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), a common childhood illness, nor is it the same as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as “mad cow disease” (for more information about BSE, visit www.BSEInfo.org).

Safety of meat products
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) agree FMD is not a threat to public health and does not affect the safety of meat.

FMD and the United States
The United States has not had an outbreak of FMD since 1929 and is recognized as “FMD free” by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Other countries considered “FMD free” include Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Chile and many European countries. FMD occurs in more than 100 countries on the continents of Africa, South America, Asia and some parts of Europe.

Economic importance of FMD
FMD is a highly contagious animal disease that can cause significant economic harm to livestock producers and local communities. The most serious economic effects would result from large-scale losses of livestock and severe restriction of agricultural exports. In addition, restricted travel in FMD control areas could result in diminished commerce and tourism.

Affected livestock during an outbreak
FMD permanently affects the health and productivity of infected animals and is capable of spreading rapidly, with nearly 100 percent of exposed animals ultimately becoming infected. To control the spread of the disease from animal to animal and farm to farm, the infected animals must be quarantined and euthanized, and human and vehicle traffic around and within the outbreak area must be stopped.

Agriculture industry and government commitment to FMD prevention
The beef, pork and sheep industries joined forces to create the FMD Cross-Species Communications Team to increase industry preparedness to quickly respond in the event of an FMD outbreak. The team developed a unified crisis response plan to help minimize consumer confusion in the event of an outbreak.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Homeland Security work diligently to control the factors that could lead to an FMD outbreak. There are strict regulations and inspections that occur to prevent disease introduction into the U.S.

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