Foot-mouth war escalates : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Foot-mouth war escalates

U.S. will employ 300 more inspectors at airports to deter the spread of livestock disease

Tuesday, April 10, 2001


WASHINGTON -- More than 300 new inspection personnel are being hired at the nation's international airports to step up continuing efforts to keep foot-and-mouth disease out of the United States, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said yesterday.

The move will pump more than $32 million into actions this country has taken to block a disease that has wreaked havoc on farmers in Britain.

It also represents a new infusion of cash to the fight against foot-and-mouth disease. So far, the government's efforts have mainly amounted to redirecting dollars and resources already in the Department of Agriculture's budget. Those actions include putting to work specially trained sniffer dogs, sending more inspectors to the nation's international airports, launching a public education campaign and sending a team of veterinarians to Europe to help efforts there.

Veneman said yesterday's actions marked "an important step that supports additional actions we have already taken to protect U.S. agriculture."

"Given current situations around the world, we need to continue reviewing program needs and take every possible action to strengthen our pest and disease prevention systems," she said.

Foot-and-mouth disease is harmless to humans but is so devastating to livestock that herds in areas where it appears are quickly eradicated, as is happening in Britain.

The virus can be carried on clothing and footwear as well as in meat products. The United States has banned imports of livestock and raw meat from the European Union.

The United States has been generally free of the disease since 1929.

The new money will allow the Agriculture Department to hire 350 new personnel, including scores of inspectors, veterinarians and canine officers.

It will be financed by revenues from $3 user fees added to airline tickets and charged to each person entering the United States.

Officials said $13.5 million of the $32 million-plus will be spent immediately. Another $18.6 million will be spent in the next fiscal year.

The money is in addition to $264 million already being used this year for agricultural inspection programs.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 10, 2001


April 9/2001, 11:00PM Channel 12 Evening News Erie Penn. Dead cows found in a field. Nobody claimed ownership. Audience assured that no evidence of "Mad Cow" or "Foot-and-Mouth" disease were found. I noticed that they were Holstien cows approx. 4-6 in number. This is an unusually quantity for one farm unless something fast moving threaten the entire herd. Holsteins especially are well monitored both by the farmer and the vet. Why did someone secretly dumped them. Can anyone verify this report? Also, Hamilton Spectator, Ontario CANADA, April 10, 2001 "Dead pigs washing up on Lake Erie shore""Dead pigs(5)washed up on the shores of Lake Erie and officials can't explain why or where they came from."..wash up on the beach (Nanticoke)behind the Lake Erie Steel Company about two weeks ago during a five day period. It's believed they were dumped into the lake to avoid paying dead stock removal fees. "But testing by a labratory at the University of Guelph has revealed no signs of foot-and-mouth or any risk to human health." "The investigation into the dead pigs is now in the hands of the Ministry of Natural Resources,which handles all probes for the agriculture ministry." Nanticoke, ON Canada is across the lake from Erie Penn. USA. Hopefully, they're isolated cases and no cause for concern.

-- David Rowe (, April 10, 2001.

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