WASHINGTON – Nambia’s Ministry of Agriculture has reported another outbreak of highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). This comes after an outbreak in October of 2020. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association's (NCBA) called for continued vigilance in preparation to address the second outbreak. Kent Bacus, senior director of international trade and market access at NCBA, responded to the outbreak with the following statement.
“The unfortunate and continued presence of FMD outbreaks in Namibia is a serious concern for US cattle producers. While the latest outbreak occurred in the buffer zone and north of the cordon fence, this is the second occurrence of FMD in a matter of months. As we stated in October 2020, FMD is a grave and persistent threat to the US cattle industry and warrants every available caution and protection to ensure that the problems plaguing cattle production in other parts of the world do not reach our shores. While NCBA supports regionalization as a tool to protect against the spread of disease while facilitating science-based trade, NCBA encourages USDA to remain vigilant in ensuring all preventative measures are in place to protect the US cattle industry from exposure.
“In regard to FMD, Namibia is divided into two zones. The northern zone, where FMD continues to occur and is not approved for export to the United States, and the southern zone – an area that is free of FMD and is designated as safe for export. Namibia has extensive measures in place, including a cordon fence and a buffer zone to prevent the spread of FMD from the northern zone to the southern zone. NCBA supports research to develop protocols and determine the economic impact of regionalization of states or an area to establish risk avoidance for animal diseases. With that said, FMD is a highly contagious disease that would devastate the US cattle industry and NCBA will continue to support USDA’s efforts to prevent our herd from exposure.”