Recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks deserve a closer look

Taiwan 1997

Taiwan was free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from 1929 until 1997.  An outbreak in 1997 spread rapidly among swine herds resulting in the destruction of 3.8 million pigs and loss of export markets.  Taiwan now produces 6 million pigs per year, about half as many as it did in the mid-1990s.  Vaccination was used to control the epidemic in swine and the country has failed to regain the OIE status “free without vaccination” needed to resume exports.

UK 2001

The United Kingdom had been free of FMD since 1967 until the 2001 outbreak that affected swine, sheep, dairy, and beef holdings across much of the country from February through September.  Related outbreaks were found in Northern Ireland, France, and the Netherlands and quickly brought under control.  The toll on the countryside is counted as 6 million animals and the equivalent of 13 billion dollars (US).  Many rural tourism-related businesses went out of business.  The UK was declared “free without vaccination” in January 2002.

Japan 2010

The Miyazaki prefecture on the island of Kyushu, famous for supplying Waygu cattle, experienced an epizootic of FMD between April and August 2010.  The last outbreak there had been experienced ten years prior.  Confirmation of the disease was slow, contributing to its spread among cattle, water buffalo, swine, sheep, and goats.  Disease was controlled using vaccination to slaughter.  Almost 300,000 animals were slaughtered to control the disease.  Free status without vaccination was granted by OIE in February 2011.

South Korea 2010-2011

South Korea brought 2 outbreaks of FMD quickly under control in early 2010, then was caught seemingly off-guard by an outbreak that spread rapidly and persisted through the winter.  There was hope the disease had stopped spreading and animal movement restrictions were lifted in early April only to have the disease identified in new herds later in the month.  The situation was not resolved as of late May 2011.  Since late November 2010 a total of 3.5 million cattle and pigs were culled for disease control at a cost approaching 2.7 billion dollars (US).

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One Response to Recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks deserve a closer look

  1. Ducky says:

    What an awesome way to explain this-now I know everthiyng!

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