FMD Vaccine Bank


The Situation

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a national security risk because of increased global trade and travel. An outbreak of the foreign animal disease would cripple the entire agricultural sector and have long-lasting ramifications for the economic viability of U.S. crop and livestock production. Today, the U.S. does not have quick access to enough FMD vaccine to handle more than a very small, localized outbreak. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) manages a vaccine bank at Plum Island, N.Y., where vaccine antigen concentrate for a limited number of FMD strains is stored. If an outbreak occurred, the antigen would need to be shipped to England or France to be turned into finished vaccine, then shipped back to the United States. Turnaround time to produce enough vaccine would be weeks for a small outbreak and months for a large one.

NPPC's Position

An FMD vaccine bank is needed to quickly contain and eradicate an outbreak. Congress should authorize annual funding for the life of the Farm Bill of $150 million for the vaccine bank, $30 million for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and $70 million in block grants for state animal health agencies to prepare for a foreign animal disease emergency.

Fast Facts

  • An FMD outbreak would immediately close all export markets to U.S. meat; the U.S. pork industry supports more than 25% of production
  • According to Iowa State University economists, the impact of an FMD outbreak over 10 years would be:
    -Beef and pork sectors — over $128 billion
    -Corn and soybean farmers — lose $44 billion and nearly $25 billion, respectively
    -Annual jobs losses — more than 58,000 in direct employment and nearly 154,000 in total employment
  • FMD includes 24 different strains present in many countries

Additional Resources

FMD: The Possibility is Real (Video)