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NMPF Praises USDA for FMD Preparedness with Initial Vaccine Purchase

July 8, 2020

The National Milk Producers Federation praised the U.S. Department of Agriculture for taking a critical step in modernizing Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) preparedness for U.S. dairy farmers through its initial purchase of $27.1 million in foot-and-mouth disease vaccine for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank.

The initial purchase culminates a multi-year effort by NMPF and other livestock organizations working with USDA to update U.S. preparedness for a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.

“NMPF appreciates the leadership shown by Congress in including FMD preparedness in the 2018 Farm Bill and USDA in moving forward with implementation,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “A modernized vaccine bank signals appropriate vigilance against a threat that, while not a present danger, is always a potential risk.”

The U.S. has not had an FMD outbreak since 1929. Still, recent foreign animal disease outbreaks in the U.S. of avian influenza and porcine epidemic diarrhea has focused attention on the importance of preparedness for other diseases, including FMD, for which outbreaks would have profound effects on international trade and animal health.

NMPF’s Board of Directors in 2014 endorsed a set of FMD priorities for the U.S. dairy industry, including modernizing the FMD vaccine bank, which enabled NMPF to advocate for dedicated funding in the 2018 Farm Bill. This first purchase agreement for FMD vaccine is part of a multi-year USDA commitment to modernize the FMD vaccine bank.