After 86 years of the United States being free of foot and mouth disease, Cathy Isom poses the big question still being asked: Are we ready if it returns? There have been studies saying that depopulation of livestock is the only effective way to cut foot and mouth losses. Emergency vaccination would be of little help. According to a Kansas State University animal health economist, we find that emergency vaccination could be justified. The university’s team of vets and animal disease experts has projected what the losses would be in an eight-state midwest U.S. area if foot and mouth disease were to hit cattle operations with a depopulation only so there’s no emergency vaccination. The cost would be roughly 180 billion dollars.
Read the Fact Sheet on Foot and Mouth Disease from USDA/APHIS.