Economic Impact of F&MD Hits U.S. (Livestock - General) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I will follow this with another one which more details the U.S. import ban. Does this affect homesteaders in the U.S. If F&MD is found near you, likely the USDA will conficate and destroy all of your livestock. You may or may not be fully compensated.U.N.: Foot-and-Mouth Disease Is Global Threat

By David Brough Reuters

ROME (March 14) - The United Nations on Wednesday warned that foot-and-mouth disease is a global threat and urged tougher action against the highly contagious viral infection.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization urged stricter controls on immigrants and tourists, because they raised risks of spreading the disease, and on imports of foods, including those carried by travelers, and wastes from aircraft and ships.

FAO said more aid should be made available for developing countries to tackle the disease in the endemic areas in countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.

''Any country around the world might be contaminated,'' Yves Cheneau, chief of FAO's animal health service and its senior expert on foot-and-mouth disease, told Reuters in an interview.

''When we look at the way the virus spreads, it's very clear that every country is threatened,'' he added, speaking at FAO's headquarters in Rome.

''Now of course because of the presence of the outbreak in the United Kingdom, because of the spread (of the viral disease) by the wind, you can imagine that the closer you are (to the infection), the more threatened you could be.''

No country can consider itself safe from the disease because of increased international trade, intensified farming, immigration, tourism, the movement of animals, animal products and foodstuffs, Cheneau said.

He said countries should reinforce surveillance and border controls to reduce and prevent risks of the disease, cracking down on those who flout rules and regulations.

''Controls should include cleaning...trucks coming back after delivery of goods in other countries,'' he said. ''This virus is very strong and very 'intelligent.'''


FAO urged tougher controls on the movement of people, including immigrants and tourists.

''The persons -- the tourists, the immigrants -- should be controlled during this kind of situation,'' Cheneau said.

''Tourists or immigrants are arriving in a country, maybe ignoring what is happening (disease), and maybe transporting meat for their relatives,'' he said.

''If you are an immigrant, what kind of gifts will you give to your relatives when you are visiting them? You may wish to bring them what you have -- that is meat or meat products. At that time the risk is enormous.''

FAO says the introduction of the virus may be linked to swill feeding of pigs. It is suspected that this is the likely origin of the outbreak in Britain last month.

Cheneau said he opposed vaccination of animals in Europe at this stage.

''FAO is not in favor of using vaccines at this stage in Europe -- that is in countries free of the disease or countries that were free of the disease,'' he said.

''Why? It is not only a question of cost. It is a question of efficiency,'' he added. ''Vaccines are not eliminating the risk that these animals are carriers of the disease. You can be vaccinated, but you can continue to disseminate the virus.''

Foot-and-mouth hits cloven-hoofed animals, such as cattle, pigs, sheep and goats, which can develop fluid-filled blisters and erosions in the mouth, nose, teats and feet.

Cheneau said that once the disease strikes, destruction of animals is the method of choice.

Vaccination is not a substitute for eradication.

The United States banned meat imports from the European Union on Tuesday after France reported that an outbreak of the disease had spread from Britain to mainland Europe.

Cheneau urged countries to prepare contingency plans, including measures for destruction of carcasses and provision for emergency vaccination as a last resort -- when the killing of animals poses operational and public acceptance problems.

''France has not experienced a foot-and-mouth outbreak for the last 20 years. A full generation of vets has not seen the disease,'' he said.

''How can you ask these people to diagnose this disease if they never saw it?'' he added, urging awareness campaigns for veterinarians and for the agriculture and transport industries.

REUTERS Reut06:31 03-14-01

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001


As I read this, the only animals products to be allowed into the U.S. from EU countries will be hard cheese. Since our economy is based on supply and demand, when supply goes down and demand stays constant, prices to up. It now has an impact on me also as I have non- refundable airline tickets for a trip to Europe in May.

U.S. Expands Import Ban to EU

By PHILIP BRASHER .c The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. ban on imports of livestock and fresh meat was expanded to all 15 countries of the European Union after a case of foot-and-mouth disease was found on a farm in France.

The ban, which also applies to unpasteurized dairy products, would have the biggest impact on imports of pork from the Netherlands and Denmark. Imports of beef from the European Union already were banned because of mad cow disease.

``We want to make sure we're taking the appropriate steps to make sure it doesn't cross the ocean by means of our ports or travelers,'' said USDA spokesman Kevin Herglotz, adding that ``if foot-and-mouth disease were to enter the United States, the cost is in the billions.''

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said the ban should present few problems for U.S. consumers. ``It is unlikely we will see any price impact at all (because) most of the products that we have are produced here domestically,'' she said Wednesday on ABC's ``Good Morning America.''

The United States suspended all meat and animal imports from Britain on Feb. 21 and ordered stepped-up checks of travelers arriving from the United Kingdom. Airline passengers who have visited the British countryside are required to have their shoes disinfected if they appear soiled.

Now, travelers from the European Union also may be subject to additional scrutiny, including disinfection of their footwear if they have been on a farm.

The European Union expressed surprise that the U.S. import ban extended to all 15 member countries. ``Thirteen EU states are disease- free. We have measures in place to keep it that way,'' spokeswoman Maeve O'Beirne said.

But Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, praised USDA's action.

``Right now we just don't know how far this disease has spread,'' said Harkin, whose state is a top hog producer. ``It is common sense to take protective measures.''

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., last week urged the Bush administration to block imports of livestock from anywhere in the world, including Canada, until the department assessed the adequacy of its controls for foot-and-mouth disease.

Foot-and-mouth disease is not harmful to humans, but it spreads so quickly that entire herds and flocks must be destroyed to contain it. The virus can be transmitted by footwear and motor vehicles.

French officials said Tuesday that the disease was found in cattle on a farm that had earlier imported sheep from Britain.

In addition to the ban on shipments from the European Union, USDA said it was sending a team of 40 federal, state and university experts to Europe to monitor and assist in the efforts to contain the disease.

The department said it also will increase its public education efforts in the United States by installing more signs in airports, sponsoring public service announcements and providing a telephone hot line for information.

The appearance of foot-and-mouth in France sent soybean and corn prices tumbling on the Chicago Board of Trade because of fears that the disease could lead to wholesale slaughtering of hogs in Europe, depressing markets for feed ingredients. Soybean prices lost 1 percent of their value.

The European Union estimated the import restrictions would affect $500 million worth of annual sales in meat and livestock. The United States estimated the impact at less than $400 million.

Chuck Lambert, a spokesman for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said the department was acting properly.

``As conditions change, they've adapted their monitoring and surveillance,'' he said.

On the Net:

Agriculture Department:

AP-NY-03-14-01 0728EST

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001.

Ken, I find the whole thing very scary. Personally I think we should stop tourism until this gets under control and we can sort it all out. I can't see that if we had an outbreak in Michigan, with our huge deer herds, that it would be controled no matter what we did unless they section by section killed off all the deer. I have worked on my herd bloodlines for many years and would be just heartsick to lose them no matter what the financially situation.

-- diane (, March 14, 2001.

Two examples of a one-world economy found in my pantry:

Green Giant Mushrooms Pieces & Stems. A good ole American brand. Label says: Product of Indonesia.

Chicken of the Sea Jack Mackerel. Another good ole American brand. Lable says: Product of Chile.

The Secretary of Agriculture can say the U.S. is self-sufficient in these products so no impact will be felt. However, the U.S. imports something like 40,000 tons of sheep milk-based cheese annually. Our domestic supply is almost non-existent. (And the USDA is trying to kill two starter herds in Vermont (imported from Belgium) since they might, just might, be infected with scrapies.)

Sometime when you are grocery shopping and have extra time look at labels and see just how much is imported. Not labeled will be produce from Central America.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001.

I may not fully understand this issue so bare with me: Let's say farmer A has a herd of 100 cattle ready for market next spring by that time hopefully hoof and mouth will be gone,he then sells them overseas to help replenish their herds,wont he make a good profiet? How about the veggie farmers here wont they be able to sell for higher prices? I guess I maybe looking at it from a different angle but I see it as being an advantage to us. Now if I look at it like this....Home owner who does not grow any of their own food and relies on the stores will be hit hard,but I can assume I should grow more and sell at a higher price? Help me understand.

-- renee oneill{md.} (, March 14, 2001.


As I see it, the answer to your question is basically no.

Say F&MD is confined to England and the local pockets in France are kept from spreading. After dairy farmer disinfect their premises (how one disinfects fields I don't know) they are allowed to restock. Live animals from the U.S? Not likely due to transportation costs. They will look to other European countries. Same thing for beef cattle farmers. Heck, EU won't import our beef now due to concerns over the use of growth hormones in feeder cattle. Plus, the demand for beef in Europe is down anyway due to MCD concerns.

Should have little, if any, impact on organic vegetable farmers, or regular ones for that matter.

When the EU banned the use of MBM in feeds, U.S. soybean farmers did smile at least a little as its replacement would be soymeal and not many soybeans are grown in Europe. But then, the wholesale slaughtering of livestock due to both MCD and F&MD means fewer head need to be fed, so instead of going up, soybean prices fell.

The impact on the U.S. consumer will be likely be minor, but I think there will be an eventual impact on prices. If you like soft European cheeses, they won't be available, so U.S. cheese producers may benefit here, perhaps not with higher prices, but greater sales. Since the U.S. was importing pork and lamb from Europe, that implies U.S. producers may be able to fill the void. Until they ramp up to do so, particular lamb, prices may go up.

In this article it mentioned F&MD in Britian may have started with the feeding of swill to hogs. I suspect the swill they were referring to was plate scrapings which hadn't been properly recooked.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001.

Ken, Thanks for your answer maybe I was trying to look at it as the glass is 1/2 full not 1/2 empty. I was also hopeing in being able to increase my profiet from selling steers and pork.

-- renee oneill{md.} (, March 14, 2001.

Renee, I imagine after this horror, many of those farmers who listened to their registered herds being shot one by one, will not farm anymore. The world right now is loosing valuable herds that can't be replaced. They are known for their fine cattle and sheep. It could easily spread here and everywhere.

-- Cindy in Ky (, March 14, 2001.

Ok.... I'm going to play devil's advocate here and go way off.... No need to worry about my sanity - I know this one's really strange!!! Forgive, please!!!!

Now... Most of us focused on the F & M in the article, right? How many of us caught that they are essentially talking about shutting down the borders of most countries in the world???? How convenient would THAT be???? Let's see.... Nobody can go in or out unless the Government says so. Hmmmmm.... Its for your own good.... Again.... Hmmmmm.... Does this apply to military personnel as well???

There is a strain of this disease that affects people. Look in any pre-1950's medical book. Did it kill anybody??? No. Was it contagious, yes. But, basically its a cold-sore and spreads sort of like poison ivy on the body. How long does it last - without treatment???? About two weeks.

It IS a world-wide threat. To cosmetics. Normally after the course of the 'disease', there isn't even any scarring. Ask around - ask the old farmers and ranchers. They never even had to report it. Not until now.

If an entire generation has never seen it, then sanitation practices have at least increased. But all of a sudden, its a threat to global food supplies.... people are being restricted from travel... economies (has anybody SEEN the stock exchanges lately????) are being destroyed...

Folks - between the falling markets and near financial bankruptsies world over, the inflation of food prices, etc... recession isn't the word for what could happen.

Anybody know the one sure method of reversing a DEPRESSION???? I'll give you a hint at the age old answer....

We Are Right.... W.A.R....

I don't enjoy being a fatalist.... But take a really GOOD look at what is being proposed here... and the poor excuses for not doing something like vaccinations????????

-- Sue Diederich (, March 14, 2001.


F&MD is more of an economic disease than a health one. Even in cattle, sheep, hogs and goats it will run its course in about two weeks. However, it is probably the most highly infectious animal virus and attacks multiple species. After it has run its course animals will slack off permanently in milk production and will have difficult in keeping weight on. If you are a dairy farmer barely making a living now, would you want your milk production to fall by say 20%? If you are a commercial hog farmer would you want it to have to take twice as long for a feeder pig to reach market weight. If you are a cattle producer would you be satisifed with your cows raising scrawney calves or be a feedlot operator who has to put twice the amount of feed and time into a feeder? Would consumers be willing to pay significantly more for a gallon of milk or a ham or beef? And, F&MD can kill young stock.

Experience has shown half-measures don't work. I'm as sensitive as the next person to freedom of movement. However, they are cases where even I think it is justified.

-- Ken WC TN (, March 14, 2001.


P.S. WAR? With whom? There's no one left to play with. Maybe dropping 230 pound F&MD infected pigs (OK, for you softies - they can be fitted with parachutes) may be more effective than 500 pound bombs.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001.

How scarry is this spring going to be with F&M symptoms very similar to staph/pemphigus and soremouth!

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, March 14, 2001.

Update: Foot-and-Mouth Outbreak Prompts Bans Around the World

By ELAINE GANLEY .c The Associated Press

PARIS (March 14) - A day after the United States banned meat imports from the European Union because of foot-and-mouth disease, nations from Europe to Asia on Wednesday piled more restrictions on an industry already reeling from the mad cow epidemic.

Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Norway were the latest countries to announce bans on imports of livestock and meat products from the 15-nation European Union after the highly contagious disease was found Tuesday among cattle in northwestern France.

Japan, Estonia, Singapore and Latvia on Wednesday announced they were banning livestock products from France. Lithuania already banned meat and dairy products from the EU.

On Tuesday, hours after French officials confirmed the outbreak, the United States and Canada banned imports of livestock, fresh meat and dairy from the EU.

Richard Dunkle of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said Wednesday the entire EU was covered by the ban because of the rapid movement of people and animals among the countries of Europe.

The Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization warned in a statement Wednesday that no country was safe from foot-and-mouth disease due to increased international trade and tourism.

But the EU called the bans excessive. Within Europe, only France and Britain have confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth disease. A case also has been reported in Argentina.

''It is not proportionate,'' EU spokeswoman Beate Gminder said Wednesday. ''The only outbreak is in Britain and France,'' adding the affected areas were under strict surveillance to try to contain the disease.

French Agriculture Minister Jean Glavany said in an interview published Wednesday that France is ''very exposed to risk'' of more foot-and-mouth cases because of the 20,000 British sheep it imported in February that were scattered in 80 farms around the country.

The disease does not pose a danger to humans, but is ravaging herds in Britain, where at least 211 cases have been discovered. France's Feb. 29 decision to destroy British sheep, along with 30,000 French sheep, failed to keep the disease at bay.

France would consider, as a last resort, vaccinating livestock against the disease, Glavany told Le Parisien newspaper.

But for now, the key method of containing the disease is mass slaughter of animals with suspected infections, a move that will likely result in higher meat prices.

''Vaccination is a measure we don't exclude, in agreement with Brussels, if we can't master the spread of the disease,'' Glavany was quoted as saying. ''But we're not there yet.''

Vincent Carlier, a specialist at the Maison Alfort veterinary school outside Paris, where foot-and-mouth tests are analyzed, told French television that vaccinations are not full-proof and only work ''against certain types of virus.''

Tuesday's confirmation of the outbreak in France, the first in continental Europe since the disease was confirmed in Britain in February, has triggered a wide-ranging ban on imports of EU livestock and fresh meat by a multitude of nations.

Foot-and-mouth disease was diagnosed in cows on a farm in the Mayenne region of northwestern France, next door to a farm that had British sheep in its herd.

Six new cases of the infectious livestock ailment were discovered in Britain on Wednesday, bringing the total to 211.

With fresh outbreaks cropping up in the British countryside, farmers on Wednesday urged the government to postpone local elections scheduled for May 3. British Prime Minister Tony Blair had been expected to call a general election for the same day.

Britain has already slaughtered 120,000 animals and plans to destroy 50,000 more.

Experts say it's too early to assess the impact of foot-and-mouth disease on prices and supplies of meat. But farmers here have already been hard-hit by fears over mad cow disease, which is believed to be linked to a fatal brain wasting disease in humans. Since October, beef prices in Europe have fallen by about 27 percent.

AP-NY-03-14-01 1223EST

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001.

Did you read that Ken where it is only 211 cases yet they are conducting massive slaughter? Wonder if they are trying to cover up F&M or BSE? Hummmmm..... Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, March 14, 2001.

I don't guess I understand it either. I know it's a nasty disease and all but if it's allowed to run it's course would the animals then have immunity? What about their babies? Would the babies have compromised ability to grow and supply milk too? I guess I don't understand how this thing can be controlled. I'm not stupid or anything, but it seems like overkill. Vast overkill. Stopping the disease doesn't seem possible. Even with stringent purification standards....

-- Gailann Schrader (, March 14, 2001.

Apparently the import band isn't as restrictive as the newspaper and Internet articles initially indicates.

U.S. Lists Products Affected by Import Ban

Reuters WASHINGTON (March 14) - The U.S. Agriculture Department issued a detailed list Wednesday identifying EU meat and other animal products temporarily banned because of concerns about foot-and-mouth disease.

The restrictions do not apply to cured, cooked or canned meat products or to cheese, yogurt and chocolates.

The USDA said some animal products such as hides and raw wool will be allowed into the United States if an importer first obtains a special permit and agrees to have the goods further processed upon arrival.

The USDA issued the following guidance:


Live cattle, pigs, sheep, goats

Fresh, chilled or frozen beef, pork and lamb

Fresh, chilled or frozen products from beef, pork and lamb

Fresh, chilled or frozen organs, glands, extracts or secretions from cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. Some exceptions are allowed for pharmaceutical use.

Semen from cattle, pigs, sheep and goats


Canned or cooked meat products

Dried or cured meat

Cheese, yogurt, cream liqueurs, chocolates

Milk products sealed in shelf-stable containers

Dry milk products

Condensed milk, casein, lactose


Untanned hides and skins

Raw, unwashed wool

Glue stock such as tendons or collagenous parts of animal carcasses

Blood meal, blood albumin, bone meal, intestines and other by- products for industrial use

Glands, organs, ox gall or bile

12:13 03-14-01

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001.


If this was instead a plague which affected humans but not animals (such as 'the Black Death') would your views be the same? For livestock producers in Britian the difference is about the same.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001.

Ken, I'm not really up on Foot and Mouth/Hoof and Mouth disease. I had understood that it doesn't kill the animals and the meat is edible. Does it do something else? I guess I will tour the 'net and find out. I had equated it to human chicken pox and little kids. If they get it they will be immune later. I'll check it out and either apologize for being uninformed or get back to you later...

-- Gailann Schrader (gtschrader@aol.comq), March 14, 2001.

I checked on F&M on the net and it seems that these countries having the outbreak have ALWAYS had outbreaks - "endemic." Even the countries previously listed as "clear" are having outbreaks. Very nasty disease. But my question is still, are the babies then immune? If it is carried by aerosol methods (breathing, wind, etc.), people, car tires, semen, etc., etc. how did the U.S. get it stopped? I read that California had an outbreak in 1924 and they euthanized animals to stop the outbreak. How did it not recur? If it's from contaminated water (read E.Coli?) then is the vaccine against E.Coli? Vaccine only works on non-infected animals, but then the suggestion (from one of twenty+ sites I scanned) was that the authorities spread it from the vaccine too. I don't think this is exactly Black Death, but it is an exceptionally icky disease. Even hides have the disease (where _did_ I put my leather purse and shoes and chaps and saddle and and and) And feral animals spread it too. Is the disease then spread also through the smoke of incinerated or partially incinerated animals (such as poison ivy oils?). Where are their ashes put? Just some musings, probably all rhetorical in nature...

-- Gailann Schrader (, March 14, 2001.

Ooops. The babies that _live_ anyway. Most of the babies are aborted or die. Sorry I meant to put that in my ramblings...

-- Gailann Schrader (, March 14, 2001.


Foot-And-Mouth Disease Spreads to Middle East

By David Evans and Mike Miller Reuters BRUSSELS/CHICAGO (March 14) - The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that has rocked Europe spread to the Middle East on Wednesday, as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reported finding 10 cases.

The cases were the first found in the Gulf states, which import most of their meat. UAE Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Saeed al- Ragabani said eight imported cows were found to have the disease, and the official Saudi Press Agency said two calves had been diagnosed with the highly contagious disease in neighboring Saudi Arabia. It was not yet clear where the imported cows had originated.

Countries around the world stepped up efforts to stay free of the disease on Wednesday, banning meat and grain imports from the European Union and increasing checks on travelers from Europe.


The United States was one of a string of countries from Canada to Australia to halt imports of EU meat, and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said her government would take every precaution to keep the disease out of the United States, which has not had a case since 1929.

Britain is the epicenter of the latest outbreak of the disease, which attacks livestock including cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. France announced its first case since 1981 on Tuesday.

Within the EU, German police began guarding normally unmanned border crossings with France. Police checked everything from British soccer fans to frozen veal schnitzels. In Britain, tens of thousands of carcasses are being burned on giant pyres and much of the countryside is effectively a no-go zone.


World governments' response to the foot-and-mouth outbreak took on aspects of a trade war on Wednesday, as EU Food Safety Commissioner David Byrne criticized countries that had taken "unnecessary and excessive" measures.

"If necessary we will make full use of our bilateral contacts and our WTO (World Trade Organization) trade arrangements to have these restrictions lifted," Byrne told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The European Commission on Wednesday urged four countries -- Morocco, Hungary, Slovakia and Tunisia -- to end what it called unjustified bans on imports of EU grain imposed over fears of the spread of foot- and-mouth.

Foot-and-mouth is a virulent disease in which fever is followed by the development of blisters, chiefly in the mouth or on the feet. It is not believed to readily affect humans.

Argentina, the world's No. 5 beef exporter, said on Tuesday it had confirmed the existence of a foot-and-mouth outbreak, its first case since 1994.

Chicago commodity markets gyrated on Wednesday in response to the outbreak. Pork prices surged to eight-month highs one day after the United States and other countries banned meat imports from the European Union.

Prices of livestock feed ingredients, chiefly soybeans and soybean meal, tumbled on expectations of reduced demand as producers slaughter their herds.

McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant company, warned on Wednesday that its first-quarter earnings would be hurt by the growing consumer beef scare in Europe, where foot-and-mouth is starting to add to mad cow troubles, which have caused consumers to avoid hamburgers.


The U.S. government took steps on Wednesday to prevent foot-and-mouth from entering the United States. The government adopted strict new measures, including disinfecting some European travelers' shoes, to protect American livestock from the disease.

Extra U.S. health inspectors, foot-sniffing dogs and close questioning of airline passengers returning from the European countryside were among the tools being used by the U.S. Agriculture Department to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease that has thrown Europe into a panic.

"If this were to spread to the United States ... the losses would reach into billions of dollars quickly," said Alfonso Torres, deputy administrator of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The Agriculture Department staged a demonstration at Dulles International Airport outside Washington on Wednesday to show how arriving passengers from Europe will be questioned and inspected.

British visitors flying into Florida's tourist mecca of Orlando had their shoes sprayed with disinfectant as airport inspectors joined the campaign to keep foot-and-mouth at bay.


Canada's agriculture minister on Wednesday appealed to livestock farmers to stop people who have visited countries hit by foot-and- mouth from visiting their farms. Canada on Tuesday banned meat imports from the EU and from Argentina, where the disease was also found. Canada has been free of the disease since 1952.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday released a list of prohibited animal products from the European Union. Banned EU items include fresh, frozen or chilled raw meat such as pork and lamb. A department spokesman said it was unclear how long the ban on EU products would last.

Sweden's agriculture minister said outbreaks of foot-and-mouth and mad cow disease could turn into budget-wrecking national catastrophes, while the director-general of the World Health Organization said the costs involved in combating food scares were rising sharply.

A United Nations commodities expert said foot-and-mouth could push up world meat prices unless outbreaks are contained quickly.

16:53 03-14-01

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 14, 2001.

As you have probably guessed, I'm with Sue on this. It does seem just too durn convenient. And then there's the ever present Monsanto with it's genetically engineered soy products ready to take some cash at the horrific expense of all of this slaughter.

Ken, I have a question. If this is so virulent, can it really be contained? Wouldn't all of the dogs and cats and birds and wildlife be spreading this? What about flies? Wouldn't the farmers all have to shoot all of their pets as well? How does one kill every bird that has landed in a pasture?

I saw the footage on the Nat'l news tonight at a friend's and it made me cry, how terribly sad. I would rebel if they told ne to kill all my goats because one had a cold sore. They'd have to take me out to do it. Sorry, but it sure seems like it's either massively over amplified, or completely engineered. I'm just not convinced of anything other than the devastation to farmers....and more.

Also, if I were you Ken, I would cancel my trip and move the trip to the fall or something. You don't lose it all just like $150 or so. Not even a single cows cost. However, I am not a gambler!

-- Doreen (, March 14, 2001.

here's a cpl. links

argentina confirms h&m

middle east confirms h&m

have a good trip KEN


-- (, March 14, 2001.


My reference material indicates F&MD can be carried by predators (e.g., foxes) pets, birds, insects, etc. but only through direct contact. Fortunately decontamination is fairly easy on a small scale, such as the inside and outside of barns being sprayed with disinfectent. For outside, it may just be a matter of keeping livestock off the property for a period of time and then bring in test animals at first.

It has been stopped a number of times in the past, so I have my hopes this time.

My tickets are non-refunable. No trip - no refund. However, I am sensitive to the issue and, so far, it is well away from where I will be going in the Balkans. If it becomes widespread in Europe, I will likely cancel the trip. One option is to take a set of clothing, including washable shoes, in a sealed bag. Upon return, leave all other clothing (which I'm about to outgrow anyway) and shoes behind. Change shoes again at the truck and immediately wash everything upon arrival back home. County Ag Agent said to keep away from my livestock upon return for about a week, which won't be difficult as they will be in the farthest pasture from the house at that time and won't need to be fed.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 15, 2001.

Question: Is "Parisite" a french word?

-- Action Dude (, March 15, 2001.

Oops, never mind. That would be "parasite"

-- Action Dude (, March 15, 2001.

Britain Steps Up Animal Slaughter Nations Scramble to Stop Spread of Foot-and-Mouth Disease

By LAURA KING .c The Associated Press

LONDON (March 15) - Dramatically escalating its bid to stop the wildfire spread of foot-and-mouth disease, Britain announced plans Thursday to slaughter up to 100,000 animals that may have come in contact with the virus - in addition to more than 200,000 sheep, cows and pigs already killed or marked for death.

The drastic move, announced by Agriculture Minister Nick Brown, came as reverberations of the nearly month-old outbreak rippled far beyond British shores.

Continental Europe, shaken by the disease's spread to France this week, worked to strengthen its internal defenses against the virus - even as the rest of the world scrambled to shut out European meat and dairy products, including those from countries that have remained disease-free.

Foot-and-mouth disease poses no threat to humans, but when it strikes countries or trade blocs that had previously been certified as free of the ailment it can have disastrous commercial consequences.

If they want to restore their disease-free status - crucial for agricultural trade - countries can find themselves faced with the necessity of destroying enormous numbers of animals.

If they resort instead to vaccination, which does not always work well, they effectively renounce their claim to a share of the lucrative export market; as long as its herds carry antibodies to the virus, the country cannot be certified as disease-free.

As the outbreak drags on, relations between Britain and the rest of Europe - and Europe and the rest of the world - were showing signs of strain. Europe is unhappy over U.S. and Canadian bans on European Union livestock, fresh meat and dairy products announced Wednesday.

The European Commission said Thursday it would not immediately take trade action against the United States and Canada, but did not rule out retaliatory steps later.

Within the EU, which has made the breaking down of borders and barriers its raison d'etre, customs posts were being reactivated.

Along the Belgium-French border, Belgium set up checkpoints to stop the entry of French livestock. The German states bordering France agreed Thursday to check all arriving commercial traffic.

Portugal on Thursday urged a European Union-wide ban on livestock movement. The tiny Faeroe Islands, a Danish dependency in the North Atlantic, banned French meat, as did Austria.

In Britain, authorities faced a dilemma: to ease restrictions, or make them even more severe. They decided to do both.

With farmers in unaffected parts of the country clamoring for relief from tight curbs on animal movement, Brown, the agriculture minister, held out hope that restrictions could be relaxed within 10 days.

But at the same time, he announced the most far-reaching slaughter yet, involving animals showing no signs of illness but believed to have had potential contact with the virus. The prime minister's office estimated Wednesday that could be around 100,000.

Britain has a total of 55 million head of livestock. So far, foot-and- mouth disease has been found on one in every 640 farms.

All sheep and pigs within two miles of confirmed outbreaks in the northwestern county of Cumbria will be destroyed, Brown told the House of Commons. Cattle in those areas will be monitored, with whole herds slaughtered if signs of the infection are found, he said.

Sheep which may have been exposed to the disease at three markets will also be destroyed.

``We are intensifying the slaughter of animals at risk in the areas of the country - thankfully still limited - where the disease has spread,'' Brown said. ``This is a policy of safety first.''

With more than 250 separate outbreaks now reported, farmers have acknowledged the grim necessity of mass slaughter. Even so, the latest measures are a blow.

Ben Gill, president of the National Farmers Union, said the size of the killing zones would mean many healthy animals would die.

``There will be many tears around the British countryside today,'' he said. Our farms should be starting to jump to life with newborn lambs and calves. Instead, many will feel that spring has been canceled, and their farms are simply dead.''

AP-NY-03-15-01 1823EST

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, March 16, 2001.

I don't think the question has been answered yet about newborn animals from previously infected animals. Say, an animal is infected then recovers from the disease (albeit with depressed milk production, etc). A year later, the animal reproduces. Will the second generation be affected? I know sick animals will abort -- but what about later after they are recovered? Do people abort babies if they've had the flu before? I would think that newborn animals a year later would be fine.

It seems to me that rather than killing all of a nation's stock -- and sending all of your farmers into bankruptcy -- you kill just the sick animals and quarantine the rest. Even with the disease, you'll have a temporary loss in production until a new generation of animals is raised but that is certainly better than losing an entire herd, its genetic makeup, or an industry. This seems like massive overkill at the expense of small farmers.

In addition, this disease will never be wiped out. The only way to build healthy stock is let natural selection do its thing until strains of livestock are developed that have a natural immunity. Should we start implementing draconian measures to control the common flu bug among people? No travel, etc. This seems ridiculous.

I can't think of anyone who will benefit from wiping out entire herds other than international agribusiness. And sadly, it's agribusiness practices that started this in the first place by keeping animals under close quarters, using bad feed practices, etc.

-- Michael Nuckols (, March 16, 2001.

Is the Hoof and Mouth Disease of today similar in virulance and effect to the disease of decades ago? I ask this question because of a discussion I had with my father- in-law on the topic of FMD. He was raised on a farm in Italy and says her remembers FMD coming to his small rural area. He insists it was not a big deal. The locals "cured" the disease by applying a home remedy. He doesn't remember exactly what it was but he says he knows it contained barley soot and raw wine vinegar. He says they used to make some sort of paste and coat the hooves and mouths with this paste repeatedly. He cannot remember an animal ever being slaughtered over this. He cannot understand what the big deal is and why so many animals are being killed. Is it possible that the virulance of this disease has increased since the 30's and 40's in Europe? What has been the policy for dealing with this disease historically?

-- Tiffani Cappello (, March 17, 2001.

Tiffini, I think your father-in-law ought to go over there and tell them how it's done. I don't agree with the slaughter at all. Simply because there is no where to draw the line. Deer, elk, antelope? Why slaughter farm animals if the wild ones are allowed to live? The only people making any money would be the bullet makers.

-- Cindy in Ky (, March 18, 2001.

Apple cider vinegar has been shown to kill a variety of bacteria, including strangles on contact. I am not sure that it would work against a virus, like FMD, but it is possible that it does there too. That would perhaps explain the wine vinegar as a cure. It is a good preventative for strangles if you feed it to the animals. I think I'd be giving it to my animals if they were in danger.

-- julie f. (, March 21, 2001.

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