Producers Urged to Guard Against Risk of FMD

CANADA - In response to foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, livestock producers are being urged to step up vigilance and ensure measures are implemented to keep the disease from reaching Canadian farms, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 21 May 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Foot-and-mouth is a highly contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including pigs, cattle, water buffalo, sheep and goats as well as antelope, bison and other wild bovids and deer.

Foot-and-mouth disease does not affect humans and mortality rates in livestock are generally low but its economic impact is severe resulting from loss of production, the expense of eradication and the interference with movement of livestock and livestock products between countries.

Canadian Pork Council president Jurgen Preugschas says it's essential that livestock producers adhere to stringent biosecurity protocols.

Jurgen Preugschas-Canadian Pork Council

It's absolutely critical, anyone who has been in contact with animals in one of those countries that they do not come in contact with livestock here and that they make absolutely sure that they have biosecurity in place in their barns where you remove any clothing and footwear and leave that on the dirty side if you will and then you put on clean barn cloths once you're inside so you don't have that contact and minimize the risk of if someone has it on their cloths of it actually causing any damage.

The key is that we don't want to alarm people here.

This is just normal procedure for us.

It's just an opportunity for every farmer to re-look at their biosecurity and to keep doing the things well that you've been doing all along.

Mr Preugschas says, if we were to get a disease like foot-and-mouth, our borders would instantly be closed for all exports which would be economically devastating.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Foot and Mouth Disease by clicking here.
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