USDA announces FMD vaccine purchase

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The USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service announced the initial purchase of a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine. The overall investment is $27.1 million.

“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,” 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.”

If there were to be an outbreak today, the USDA would not have enough access to vaccine to prevent the spread of the viral infectious disease. The disease, while not a threat to humans or food, has decimated export markets and lead to long-term repercussions in other parts of the world. The United Kingdom has twice battled outbreaks since 2000 and South Korea had to cull more than 3 million hogs after an outbreak in 2011. FMD is is an endemic in Asia.

Iowa Stae University research shows an 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.

Boehringer Ingelheim and Biogénesis Bagó were awarded contracts.

“Boehringer Ingelheim has proudly supported the U.S. livestock industry for decades as a leader in animal vaccine technology,” says Everett Hoekstra, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. “Infectious animal diseases can disrupt our food supply, and governments make significant investments to help prevent and prepare for such events.”

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