Preparing for FMD: It's never just a drill

America's pig farmers, local and state officials can never be too prepared for an animal disease crisis.

It is just a drill. But, what if it was not? Animal health experts warn it is just a matter of time that a foreign animal disease is introduced to the United States, given the large number of animals and people traveling worldwide.

The deliberate or accidental introduction of a highly contagious foreign animal disease, such as foot-and-mouth disease, into the United States will have an immediate and drastic effect on agriculture.

Increasing foreign animal disease awareness and preparedness has been a pork industry priority and has resulted in the development and delivery of a unique tabletop exercise training tool for pork producers, veterinarians and stakeholders at the state and local level. The tabletop display is an interactive training tool that utilizes a model of rural America including farms, livestock and a small town to help participants visualize what would occur locally during an animal disease disaster.

The Illinois Pork Producers Association, in conjunction with National Pork Board and the Illinois Department of Agriculture hosted ag stakeholders, as well as state and local officials from across Illinois to discuss FMD preparedness.

TAGS: Marketing
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