News & Resources

U.S.-Canadian Plan to Regionalize Trade in an Animal Disease Outbreak Endorsed

August 7, 2014

NMPF has endorsed a draft plan for allowing the United States and Canada to cope with an outbreak of a serious foreign animal contagion, such as foot-and-mouth disease.

The plan, drafted by the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, calls for the United States and Canada to recognize each other’s efforts to control an outbreak, while regionalizing how the outbreak is handled, so as to allow continued trade with disease-free areas of the country.

In comments filed with APHIS, NMPF noted that Canada is the second-largest export market for U.S. dairy products, and that an outbreak of a highly contagious animal disease such as FMD in either country could be catastrophic for the U.S. dairy industry.

“We applaud the Agriculture Department for working with its Canadian counterparts to prepare for a foreign animal disease outbreak,” said Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s vice president for sustainability & scientific affairs. “We fully support the draft plan and see it as an effective tool for dealing with an outbreak.”

The plan, officially termed a framework, calls for the two countries to cooperate in establishing quarantine areas that would be the focus of disease eradication efforts in an outbreak. Trade could then resume or continue in areas considered free of disease. 

NMPF suggested the plan is a template for similar plans involving other important dairy export markets.