About the Johnson-Enzi FMD Bill
Why our herds would be at risk for FMD from Argentina:
- The bill would prohibit the importation of ruminants and swine and fresh or frozen ruminant and pork products from any region of Argentina until the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can certify to Congress that Argentina is free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
- This bill would not disrupt the status quo. We currently import dried, cured or cooked product from FMD-infected countries. This bill would not prohibit the importation of that product; it would only prohibit product that poses a risk for disease transmission, including live animals.
- The Johnson-Enzi bill also ensures that Argentina must achieve an FMD-free status without vaccination, which is the acceptable standard for trade and ensures that the disease has been eradicated from the country.
- In January 2007, the USDA proposed a plan to import meat from a select region of Argentina despite the country's well documented FMD cases. The United States, however, has been free of FMD since 1929 and is free of FMD without vaccination.
- The continuity and adequacy of Argentina's infrastructure has not been proven by means of maintaining freedom of FMD for any length of time.
- The area believed to be FMD free in Argentina is surrounded by the presence of FMD, which poses a very great risk with the potential for airborne transmission.
- FMD is considered by the American Veterinary Medical Association to be the most economically devastating of all livestock diseases.
- A 2001 outbreak in England led to the destruction of 6 million animals and cost the economy nearly $20 billion.
- According to USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the economic impacts of FMD in the U.S. could cost the economy billions of dollars in the first year.
- FMD is a disease that affects ruminants and swine.
For more information, please contact Cynthia Bartel in Senator Johnson's office at 4-5842 or Travis Jordan in Senator Enzi's office at 4-3424