Can recovered FMD animals reproduce? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

If an animal recovers from foot and mouth disease, we know it will be less health, have less milk, etc. However, my question is what effect does the disease have on future reproduction? Will a formerly infected animal have healthy offspring? Seems to me, Yes, but I am not an expert on it. What do others think?

That said, wouldn't it be better to cull only those sick animals and leave those with no sign of infection? I would rather have that than have entire farms, industries, and genetic stocks (breeds)wiped out.

A farmer can either 1) Lose all his animals to prevent the spread, go bankrupt, and begin buying GM-modified meat from agribusiness supermarkets OR 2) Keep his animals, lose productivity for a short time, breed the healthy ones (which obviously would have superior disease resistance improving the gene pool), and be back up to full speed a year or two from now.

I'm inclined to favor the latter. Opinions?

-- Michael Nuckols (, March 16, 2001


OK - since I started this....

I've talked to several people via email, and have discovered something. In addition to the fine Doctor's post above, I found out that there are some other things to consider.

First, there are, I guess, 7 different strains of this thing, so it will be very hard to figure which vaccine to give. Also found out that there is a 'dead' vaccine (like modern Polio) and an 'inactive' which is much less favored.

Second, from another email,(had this confirmed by a ID State veterinarian this morning) the infected animals' OUTWARD symptoms will definately go away (providing it is not an overly severe case). However, inwardly, the animal's immune system is severely weakend, and while it can reproduce, chances of spontaneous abortion are heightened. There may or may not be a loss of production capability of the animal. So, then the question is: do you really produce healthy stock from inferior animals? Whether or not they STARTED out healthy doesn't even figure into the equation. Once weakened, some of that weakness is passed on genetically.

Someone mentioned something that makes a lot of sense. The use of 'safe farms' - isolated as best as can be arranged, where several neighbors put their stock together and away from harm (hopefully). I think this makes a lot of sense either way.

If done at 'first signs of trouble' and before the animals can be infected, this might prevent losses on an adequate scale. I'm all for defending my stock (will be getting a doe shortly, maybe others, but don't have em yet) against any and all - IF they are healthy.

Seems from getting some straight answers finally, that this may not be the case. Do your research. Protect your animals. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.... I haven't seen any viable cures out there yet.

I will, of course continue researching as best I can, but I would also encourage everyone else who owns stock to do so as well. I don't have any stock yet that I could lose to this. Most of you do. All I have right now is rabbits, and they will keep me out of the supermarket if that is what is called for.

One other possible suggestion: diversify... That was mentioned as one reason for prior outbreaks in this country not spreading. I'm sure that beef is not the ONLY meat we all eat... Perhaps a few chickens to tide over wouldn't be too bad an idea even today...

If we are diligent in our research, precautions, are vigilant and remain level-headed - there is much we can do to prevent what is happening elsewhere!!!

I also want to apologize for being so fatalistic in my former post - but one good thing came from it... People are talking!!! The more we learn, the better off we will be -

-- Sue Diederich (, March 16, 2001.

this isn't an answer but another question on the same subject. What are the odds that foot and mouth will come to usa?? if it comes or not what are the odds of beef prices going sky high because of it???????

we try to live as close as we can so with the thought of beef going up i guess we better contact our family members on rosebud and get some buffalo shipped in i already have the chickens and deer.

blessings, sally

-- sally stanton (, March 16, 2001.

Um, are you sure buffalo can't get it? How about deer and elk? :-(

-- Joy F (So.Central Wisconsin) (, March 16, 2001.

Sue, you stated "So, then the question is: do you really produce healthy stock from inferior animals? Whether or not they STARTED out healthy doesn't even figure into the equation. Once weakened, some of that weakness is passed on genetically."

Lamarck's theory of evolution (acquired characteristics) has been proven not true and out of favor with science for over 100 years.

-- Lynn Goltz (, March 16, 2001.

I have been keeping up on the recent news regarding FMD and find it scary. One post I read today said it has spread to france and to italy. I think it will be only a matter of time before it comes here to the USA. The one problem with this whole situation is not only will we loose all our beef, but dairy animals, sheep, goats and wild animals. Think about this, we will not have any beef, milk, milk products, wool for warm sweaters and lamb to eat, goat milk, goat meat, and i'm not sure about other animals such as pigs and chickens. Anyone know if they too can contract the disease?

but what i want to know and have not had time to research, how in blazes did this outbreak start? How long before they can begin raising animals all over again? It seems to me that it will be years before you could begin again if the virus stays in the ground a long time. Where will they get the stock from? what happened here in the USA in the 1930's? But this is different now, the farming industry is industrial now and definately will impact on how it is eradicated and prevented. I don't recall my parents ever mentioning this problem, maybe they did and i wasn't paying attention. But i am gravely concerned as we have a good sized goat farm and I'd die if i lost my girls.

How in the world are we ever going to get though this? Its so scary and its impact will be far reaching. My prayers are with everyone here and those involved in the situation as well.

-- Bernice (, March 16, 2001.

Bernie, read the thread "no longer a what if" and it will answer allot of your questions. H&M has been in the world all along, it has never gone away completely and will probably always be here somewhere. The animals don't have to die anyway, the meat is fine to eat. Maybe our animals worldwide would be stronger and healthier if we just let this thing run it's course, and stopped making such a big deal of it. Read the other thread, especially about Argentina's beef.

-- Cindy in Ky (, March 17, 2001.

Thanks Cindy..... will do. I agree, maybe this disease needs to run its course. I was reading a bit more on it yesterday and now think from the infiormation I read we need to perhaps monitor the animals that do recover, perhaps the key to prevention and stopping it lies in that. I really do feel for those farmers over there. I also read on the 20/20 website that farmers are gathering together and planning to revolt.

-- Bernice (, March 17, 2001.

I asked these same questions on another thread but no one has answered yet. *First, whatever babies survive - are they immune? I realize that they will probably be compromised, but if they are immune it would be a plus. *Second, does the smoke from the burning bodies carry the virus (it can be transmitted by air). *Third, these countries have ALWAYS had the disease. It is endemic. How do we not have it - even though we had an outbreak in California in 1924. How did WE stop it? *Fourth, if it is THAT contagious, how will they ever hope to contain it? Birds, air, wildlife, tractor tires, shoes, etc. all can transmit the disease. Sorry, I know it's a nasty disease but even the people in the "know" are grumbling that it's screaming overkill. Literally.

-- Gailann Schrader (, March 17, 2001.

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