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Secure Food Supply Plans Allow Farmers and Ranchers to Take Biosecurity into Their Own Hands

Mon, 24 Jun 2019 12:21:51 CDT

Secure Food Supply Plans Allow Farmers and Ranchers to Take Biosecurity into Their Own Hands There are a lot of things for cattle producers to be worried about here in 2019 but underlying it all is the need to ensure our security from the threat of foreign animal disease. While work continues on developing a nationwide comprehensive biosecurity plan, Dr. Corrine Bromfield, an extension veterinarian with the University of Missouri, says people from both the private and public sector have been working together to take matters into their own hands and have developed what is called a Secure Food Supply Plan.


"Secure Food Supply Plans are a voluntary program that different food entities have put together. Those plans are built on enhanced biosecurity and an enhanced understanding of where disease might be on a farm," she said, explaining how a producer can best fit such a plan into their operation. "We can make sure we take the biosecurity aspect into our own hands to the best of our ability and becoming an integral part of not moving a disease or having that foreign animal disease here in the United States."


In the event that a foreign animal disease outbreak ever does occur here in the US, there are some tools and resources available through the US government to help mitigate its spread as well as the resulting economic fallout that would undoubtedly occur in the wake of its discovery. This would naturally involve a stop-movement order from regulatory officials to keep animals from being transported and hopefully limit the potential exposure of infected animals to others. Action would also be taken to identify the source of the disease or virus and then extensive cleaning and disinfection would then be in order. If necessary, action would be taken to "stamp out" the disease or depopulate affected livestock to keep pathogens from reproducing and multiplying. This would prove exceptionally challenging as the logistics of livestock transportation have transformed significantly from what they were in 1929 when the US experienced its last foreign animal disease outbreak which was Foot & Mouth Disease. Back then, movement was relatively slow. Today, however, an animal can be transported from Vermont to Oregon in less than 72 hours. If an infected animal was able to make a cross-country trip in that period of time, Bromfield says it would be devastating to the US ag industry. The prospect of the potential negative impact is so large and has thus made these Secure Food Supply Plans so attractive as a proactive step anyone can take to limit the risk of such an event from ever happening.


"Some of the main things we're going to see as a part of a biosecurity plan are controlled animal movement and animal contact- it's also going to cover visitor and personnel and vehicle movement- cleaning and disinfection- It's really about how can we minimize viruses or disease from getting to our farm."


For more information about how to develop your own plan, click over to the Iowa State University website to access resources you might find helpful at www.cfsph.iastate.edu.


Listen to Dr. Bromfield talk more about Secure Food Supply Plans with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays on today's Beef Buzz.


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



   




   

Listen to Dr. Bromfield talk more about Secure Food Supply Plans on today's Beef Buzz show, below.
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