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Key to disease prevention is sound farm-level biosecurity

February 4, 2011: Recognizing the recent pattern of FMD outbreaks in several countries, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reminding livestock producers of the precautions they can take to protect their animals from serious diseases such as foot–and-mouth disease (FMD).

FMD is a highly contagious viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals and can have a significant economic impact in the cattle and swine industries as well as the sheep and goats industries. There is no overt human health or food safety risk associated with FMD.

The CFIA recommends producers limit access to animals, closely monitor the health of the herd or flock, and immediately report any suspicion of disease to a veterinarian.

While the CFIA supports the Asian and European efforts to control the current FMD detections within their jurisdictions, the Agency has also implemented disease prevention measures to limit the potential risks to Canadian livestock. The CFIA does not allow susceptible animals and animal products to be imported from countries that are not recognized as being "free of FMD," unless the products have been processed in a way that destroys the virus.

Any person who has been in a country where FMD has been detected should not be granted access to a farm for 14 days. If access is absolutely required, this period may be reduced to a minimum of five days, following extensive personal disinfection.

For more information on FMD, including a list of countries recognized by Canada as being free of FMD, visit www.inspection.gc.ca/fmd.

For more information on the measures you can take to protect the health of your animals, visit www.inspection.gc.ca/biosecurity.

For any of the above information, you can also call the CFIA toll-free at 1-800-442-2342.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest on animal health: www.twitter.com/CFIA_Animals.