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Animal Health at the Crossroads: Preventing, Detecting, and Diagnosing Animal Diseases
gestion or inhalation of the virus from contagious animals or innate objects, such as contaminated vehicles, clothing, or feed or water. The virus is well known for its potential to spread widely and rapidly in the absence of obvious clinical signs that would trigger early detection and appropriate control measures.
FMDV in the United Kingdom
The United States has not had an incursion of FMD virus (FMDV) since 1929, but the devastating outbreak of FMD in the United Kingdom in 2001 (Box 3-2) has provided lessons about prevention, detection, and control of the disease in the United States. As in the United Kingdom, the United States does not permit the use of FMDV vaccine, creating a national population of FMDV-susceptible animals. Moreover, the United States has a large wildlife population—including feral swine, deer, and other susceptible cloven-hoofed animals—for which timely detection and prevention would be difficult, if not impossible. Establishment of infection in susceptible wildlife, such as feral swine, could result in widespread dissemination of the disease throughout the country. Prevention in both countries was and continues to be heavily reliant on federal policies restricting trade in animals and animal products from FMDV-endemic countries. Despite such policies, in early 2001 the FMDV entered the United Kingdom, most probably through an illegally imported meat product. By the time the disease was detected several weeks later, it had spread throughout the country and to as many as 79 premises primarily through animal movement (Mansley et al., 2003). Disease entry through import, either intentional or unintentional, is a similar risk for the United States, where a very small percentage of cargo and baggage is inspected. The USDA Safeguarding Review cites that 489 million passengers and pedestrians and 140 million conveyances crossed U.S. borders in 2000, and the review predicted this number to double in 2009 (NASDARF, 2001). In addition, approximately 38,000 animals were imported daily into the United States in 2000. The committee found that:
FMD prevention, and disease prevention in general, through exclusion of infected animals and animal products cannot be relied on as infallible and would require a significantly more effective infrastructure than currently exists at U.S. borders and ports of entry.
The lack of early detection following FMD virus introduction in the United Kingdom was responsible for the widespread dissemination of disease throughout the country and into neighboring countries (Haydon et al., 2004). Standard methods for testing clinical material (lesion swabs,