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Survey of emergency response plans for managing the movement of cattle during a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in North America

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  • 1 From the Center for Outcomes Research and Epidemiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To collect information from US state animal health officials (SAHOs) and beef feedlot managers and veterinarians regarding emergency response plans for movement of cattle in the event of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in North America.

SAMPLE

36 SAHOs, 26 feedlot veterinarians, and 7 feedlot managers.

PROCEDURES

3 versions of an electronic questionnaire were created and distributed to SAHOs and US feedlot veterinarians and managers to gather information about planned or expected responses to an FMD outbreak that originated at 1 of 3 geographic locations (Mexico or Canada, a bordering state, or a nonbordering state). Descriptive data were reported.

RESULTS

All respondents recognized that the risk of FMD transmission to livestock in their area or care increased as the outbreak got closer in proximity to their location. Most SAHOs indicated that they would immediately close their state’s borders to livestock movement at the beginning of an FMD outbreak, particularly if the disease was identified in a bordering state. During an extended FMD outbreak, 29 of 36 (80.6%) SAHOs reported they would resume interstate movement of cattle under some conditions, including enhanced permitting, whereas feedlot veterinarians and managers commonly reported they would be willing to receive cattle from states where no FMD-infected animals were identified, regardless of permit requirements.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Information gained from this survey can be used to inform disease modeling and preparedness efforts to facilitate business continuity of US beef feedlots in the event of an FMD outbreak in North America.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To collect information from US state animal health officials (SAHOs) and beef feedlot managers and veterinarians regarding emergency response plans for movement of cattle in the event of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in North America.

SAMPLE

36 SAHOs, 26 feedlot veterinarians, and 7 feedlot managers.

PROCEDURES

3 versions of an electronic questionnaire were created and distributed to SAHOs and US feedlot veterinarians and managers to gather information about planned or expected responses to an FMD outbreak that originated at 1 of 3 geographic locations (Mexico or Canada, a bordering state, or a nonbordering state). Descriptive data were reported.

RESULTS

All respondents recognized that the risk of FMD transmission to livestock in their area or care increased as the outbreak got closer in proximity to their location. Most SAHOs indicated that they would immediately close their state’s borders to livestock movement at the beginning of an FMD outbreak, particularly if the disease was identified in a bordering state. During an extended FMD outbreak, 29 of 36 (80.6%) SAHOs reported they would resume interstate movement of cattle under some conditions, including enhanced permitting, whereas feedlot veterinarians and managers commonly reported they would be willing to receive cattle from states where no FMD-infected animals were identified, regardless of permit requirements.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Information gained from this survey can be used to inform disease modeling and preparedness efforts to facilitate business continuity of US beef feedlots in the event of an FMD outbreak in North America.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Sanderson (sandersn@vet.k-state.edu).