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Foot and Mouth Disease

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Carcasses burning in Britain

Foot and Mouth Disease

I attended a meeting last night in Kemptville that was put on by OMAFRA
(Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affaires) . Over 400 farmers
from the area attended. Very few things could bring this many farmers out
to a meeting. There is a lot of concern about this disease breaking out in
Canada. It looks like the farming community is organizing themselves to
defend against it and the government and health officials are doing like
wise. For us to keep this disease out of Canada you the general public will
have to be get involved. It will take little effort, but it will take
understanding, simple vigilance, and a commitment to the laws and
regulations setup for the benefit of all.

England was FMD (Foot and Mouth Disease) free since 1967 (???) . It is
thought that this epidemic was caused by someone breaking the rules. The
following example is probably the most likely way that FMD will enter
Canada. Someone brought food into England from a country that had FMD andit was contaminated. They smuggled it in.

What do those customs people know. It is only a little ham or cheese. They ate most of it, they shared it, some of it went into edible waste which was fed to hogs and the epidemic began. So very simple. Was that homeland treat or holiday food delicacy worth it.

Some Information on FMD

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)- it is not a disease that people, cats, dogs, horses, birds can
      catch. All of these can be carriers and spread the disease.

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-who can catch the disease: cattle, pigs (including Pot Belly Pigs),
     sheep, camels, llamas, alpacas, Wildlife (Deer, Elk, Bison)

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-the virus(FMD) can be spread by all animals, people, other objects
     such as clothing, vehicles, equipment, feed or water

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-the virus is very hardy, it will survive freezing temperatures thus
     frozen food can be a carrier

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-it can be spread by air -up to 60 km across land and up to 300 km
     across water

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-the virus can persist on clothing, shoes, or luggage for at least 9
     weeks

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-the virus can survive in your respiratory tract and be spread by
     breathing, sneezing, or coughing

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-the virus is spread through hay, animal feeds, water, semen, or
     biologics

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-the virus can be rendered inactive by sunlight, extremes in PH, and
     high temperatures

What can you do!!

(If you are traveling or have visitors - you or your friends have been in
a country that has been recently infected by FMD - even if you were only
visiting the urban areas) Then you should do the following:

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-do not bring back any meat, dairy, or other animal product (skins    
      leather) Keep it simple. Just don't bring anything food or animal
      products back. Take pictures.

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)- the same applies to your guests or friends. Don't accept the above as
      a gift. If you know about the above material being brought into the
      country then report it to the CFIA(Canadian Food Inspection Agency
      Ph:1-877-227-0677) It is a potential danger.

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-do not visit a farm or rural area for two weeks. We do not want to
      infect wildlife either.

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-bath thoroughly before you leave the foreign country and when you
     arrive in Canada. Thoroughly was described as a good 10 minute
     soak with soap and shampoo. Your hair is important.

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-wash clothes (dry cleaning clothes is recommended) especially if you        have visited a farm

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recommends the use of
      Virkon, Germ Kill, Sulphamic Acid, Acetic Acid or Citric Acid to
      disinfect items after they are cleand.  FMD is killed by these
      disinfectants.

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-make sure your foot wear is disinfected. One disinfectant we all have        access to is vinegar. Mix vinegar in equal proportions of ordinary
      vinegar and water and expose foot wear to this solution for ten minutes.

This is what they are using to wash down animals such as horses or family
pets

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-phone your farm friend before visiting to see if your visit will pose a   
     problem

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-do not enter farm properties or building with out permission. Farms
      will be put up signs in the next week or two which will let you know
      how this farm is handling its health issues

smallb1.gif (841 bytes)-be supportive, if a restriction has been put on where you can go on an|
     agriculture property it is for a good reason.

Thank You for reading this.

Ross Batstone - April 12, 2001

Other Information Sites about Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

OMAFRA Foreign Animal Disease Advisory

Persons wishing to tell us about other ways to
protect against Foot and Mouth Disease...

Please e-mail

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tdc Marketing and Management Consultation