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Pork Producers in Ohio and Beyond Want a Five-Fold Increase in Hoof-and-Mouth Vaccine

photo of Dave Warner

The U.S. has a border-crossing issue that doesn’t involve people. And farmers in Ohio and around the country are pressing Congress to do more to deal with it.

Bacon and burgers are staples in America. But hoof-and-mouth disease found in livestock from trading-partner countries could disrupt the menu. Regulations in the U.S. adopted after an epidemic in 1914 have all but eliminated the highly contagious animal pathogen.

To stop the possible spread of the disease from imported animals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a 2-million-dose vaccine bank. That is what farmers want boosted. Dave Warner is a spokesman for the National Pork Producers.

“We need to the ability to quickly produce 10 million doses of the vaccine. Because, that’s what it would take to adequately respond to a hoof-and-mouth disease outbreak in this country.”

Experts from Warner’s group recently testified before the House Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.

Livestock producers are also concerned about the presence of the disease in countries that the U.S. trades with.

"If we got a hoof-and-mouth disease outbreak, that would be economically devastating, not just to beef cattle producers and hog producers, but to the guys who grow the corn and the soybeans that the animals eat, to the truckers that haul it -- just throughout the whole food chain, and ripples even to the rest of the economy.”