APHIS ON HIGH ALERT FOR FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is on high alert to prevent meat and other animal product imports from the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and France from entering the country.
On Wednesday, the USDA issued a temporary ban to prevent the highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease from spreading to U.S. herds. The USDA has also called on its inspectors to carefully check cargo and passengers at sea and airports for meat and other animal products from these countries. Violations could result in $1,000 penalties, the agency said.
It’s estimated that about $294 million of meat and about $1 million in live animal imports will be affected. The USDA has also sent a team of specialists to assist the European Union in its fight against the spread of this deadly livestock disease.
Canadian agriculture officials are taking the similar measures to stop the imports meat and other animal products from these countries.
The United States has been free of foot-and-mouth disease since 1929. Canada has not recorded a case since 1952.