The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced the initial purchase of vaccine for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB). APHIS will invest $27.1 million in foot-and-mouth disease vaccine, which the agency would use in the event of an outbreak to protect animals and help stop the spread of disease.
“While we are confident we can keep foot-and-mouth disease out of the country, as we have since 1929, having access to vaccine is an important insurance policy,” said Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “Vaccines could be an important tool in the event of an incursion of the disease in the U.S, but their use will depend on the circumstances of the incursion and require careful coordination with the affected animal industries.”
Vaccination helps control the spread of infection by reducing the amount of virus shed by animals and by controlling clinical signs of illness. While an outbreak would temporarily disrupt international markets, vaccination would allow animals to move through domestic production channels. Foot-and-mouth disease is not a threat to public health or food safety.? It is also not related to hand, foot, and mouth disease, which is a common childhood illness caused by a different virus.
The NAVVCB is one component of a three-part program established by the 2018 Farm Bill to comprehensively support animal disease prevention and management. The new U.S.-only vaccine bank—a concept APHIS officials have long discussed with stakeholders and industry—makes a much larger number of vaccine doses available than we currently have through the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank. APHIS will continue to participate in the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, and this new program adds to the nation’s level of protection against this devastating disease. In the event of an outbreak, animal health officials would decide when, where and how to use the available vaccine, based on the circumstances of the outbreak.
More information about these programs is available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/farmbill
NPPC Applauds USDA For First Significant FMD Vaccine Bank Purchase
The establishment of a robust Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank — a top, long-term priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) — came closer to reality today as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its first significant vaccine purchase. NPPC was instrumental in advocating for establishment of the FMD vaccine bank as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine should an outbreak occur. FMD is an infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, pigs and sheep; it is not a food safety or human health threat. The disease is endemic in many parts of the world and would have widespread, long-term fallout for livestock and crop agriculture, including the immediate loss of export markets.
“Today’s announcement is momentous, representing years of NPPC advocacy to ensure U.S. agriculture is protected should we have an FMD outbreak,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “While U.S. pork producers and other farmers face significant challenges and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a solution to FMD preparedness is in our grasp. We thank USDA and especially Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach for proceeding with such an important effort and look forward to continuing to work with the agency to ensure the FMD vaccine bank is adequately stocked.”
The 2018 Farm Bill provided $150 million in mandatory funding over the next five years for the FMD vaccine bank, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and the National Animal Disease Preparedness Program.
According to Iowa State University research, an FMD outbreak would result in $128 billion in losses for the beef and pork sectors, $44 billion and $25 billion, respectively, to the corn and soybean farmers, and job losses of more than 1.5 million across U.S. agriculture over 10 years.
NCBA Welcomes Forward Progress on FMD Vaccine Bank
WASHINGTON (July 8, 2020) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) released the following statement today in response to the USDA securing contracts worth $27.1 million to provide foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccines for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank that was created in the 2018 Farm Bill at the request of NCBA:
“We are pleased to see USDA is moving forward with creating a supply of FMD vaccines in the NAVVCB to ensure ranchers and farmers have timely access to a critical tool in the fight against foreign animal diseases, such as FMD. This is a promising first step forward to begin the work authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill; but, more action is needed to strengthen this newly created vaccine bank,” said NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs, Allison Rivera. “NCBA will continue to work with USDA, Congress and other stakeholders to secure future funding, making certain that the entire cattle industry is better prepared for a possible outbreak of FMD.”
NAVVCB is one component of a three-part program established by the 2018 Farm Bill to comprehensively support animal disease prevention and management. This new program adds to the nation’s level of protection against this devastating disease. In the event of an outbreak, animal health officials would decide when, where and how to use the available vaccine based on the circumstances of the outbreak. NCBA and other members of the animal agriculture community strongly lobbied Congress to include the formation of the NAVVCB in the Farm Bill to provide additional vaccine for use in livestock disease outbreaks, such as FMD.
NMPF Praises USDA for FMD Preparedness With Initial Vaccine Purchase
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation praised the U.S. Department of Agriculture for taking a critical step in modernizing Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) preparedness for U.S. dairy farmers through its initial purchase of $27.1 million in foot-and-mouth disease vaccine for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank.
The initial purchase culminates a multi-year effort by NMPF and other livestock organizations working with USDA to update U.S. preparedness for a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.
“NMPF appreciates the leadership shown by Congress in including FMD preparedness int he 2018 Farm Bill and USDA in moving forward with implementation,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “A modernized vaccine bank signals appropriate vigilance against a threat that, while not a present danger, is always a potential risk.”
The U.S. has not had an FMD outbreak since 1929. Still, recent foreign animal disease outbreaks in the U.S. of avian influenza and porcine epidemic diarrhea has focused attention on the importance of preparedness for other diseases, including FMD, for which outbreaks would have profound effects on international trade and animal health. NMPF’s Board of Directors in 2014 endorsed a set of FMD priorities for the U.S. dairy industry, including modernizing the FMD vaccine bank, which enabled NMPF to advocate for dedicated funding in the 2018 Farm Bill. This first purchase agreement for FMD vaccine is part of a multi-year USDA commitment to modernize the FMD vaccine bank.