Namibia reports foot-and-mouth disease outbreak

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WASHINGTON — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Senior Director of International Trade and Market Access Kent Bacus issued a statement in response to reports of another reported occurrence of foot-and-mouth disease in Namibia.

“The unfortunate and continued presence of FMD outbreaks in Namibia is a serious concern for U.S. cattle producers. While the latest outbreak occurred in the buffer zone and north of the cordon fence, this is the second occurrence of FMD in a matter of months,” Bacus said.

The disease is a serious and persistent threat to the U.S. cattle industry, he said. The association supports using regionalization to protect against the spread of disease, while facilitating science-based trade, but is encouraging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that all preventative measures are in place to protect the U.S. industry from exposure to the disease.

Namibia is divided into two zones with regards to the disease, he said. The northern zone, where the disease is still occurring, is not approved for export to the U.S. The southern zone, which is free of the disease, is designated as safe for export. Namibia has measures in place to prevent spread of the disease from the northern zone to the southern zone, including a cordon fence and a buffer zone.

The association supports research to develop protocols and determine the economic impact of regionalization.

“With that said, FMD is a highly contagious disease that would devastate the U.S. cattle industry, and NCBA will continue to support USDA’s efforts to prevent our herd from exposure,” Bacus said.

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