AUDIO: Terry O’ Neel, President of National Pork Board
AUDIO: Patrick Webb, NPB Director of Swine Health Programs
Pork industry leaders, producers, law enforcement and government officials learn about what to do if a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak occurs.
The seminar took place in West Point, NE Wednesday. Pork producer and President of the National Pork Board Terry O’ Neel says everyone needs to be ready.
“If FMD or foreign animal disease hit this country, it is a regulatory disease, which would shut off exports immediately. We have 27 percent of our product going through the export channel. It also would make consumers skirmish about eating pork or beef.” O’ Neel says.
He adds it is a huge marketing threat so people need to be prepared.
FMD is a serious animal disease but it is not a public health concern. NPB director of swine health programs Patrick Webb says if it’s discovered, the producer needs to act quickly.
“FMD has clinical signs that look like blisters. (These are primarily in sheep, cattle, and pigs… If a pork producer were to see blisters on the snout of their pig or on the mouth or feet, they need to engage their herd veterinarian,” Webb says.
The seminar featured a tabletop display where participants were given real life situations during an FMD outbreak. An outbreak hasn’t occurred in the U.S. since 1829.