Foot and Mouth Disease
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
- it is not a disease that people, cats, dogs, horses, birds can
catch. All of these can be carriers and spread the disease.
-who can catch the disease: cattle, pigs (including Pot Belly Pigs),
sheep, camels, llamas, alpacas, Wildlife (Deer, Elk, Bison)
-the virus(FMD) can be spread by all animals, people, other objects
such as clothing, vehicles, equipment, feed or water
-the virus is very hardy, it will survive freezing temperatures thus
frozen food can be a carrier
-it can be spread by air -up to 60 km across land and up to 300 km
-the virus can persist on clothing, shoes, or luggage for at least 9
-the virus can survive in your respiratory tract and be spread by
breathing, sneezing, or coughing
-the virus is spread through hay, animal feeds, water, semen, or
-the virus can be rendered inactive by sunlight, extremes in PH, and
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:
-do not bring back any meat, dairy, or other animal product
leather) Keep it simple. Just don't bring anything food or
products back. Take pictures.
- 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
country then report it to the CFIA(Canadian Food Inspection
Ph:1-877-227-0677) It is a potential danger.
-do not visit a farm or rural area for two weeks. We do not want to
infect wildlife either.
-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.
-wash clothes (dry cleaning clothes is recommended) especially if you
have visited a farm
- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recommends the use of
Virkon, Germ Kill, Sulphamic Acid, Acetic Acid or Citric
disinfect items after they are cleand. FMD is killed
-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
This is what they are using to wash down animals such as horses or family
-phone your farm friend before visiting to see if your visit will pose
-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
how this farm is handling its health issues
-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
and Mouth Disease Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Foreign Animal Disease Advisory