MSCA Advocates for Additional FMD Vaccine Bank Funding

The Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association recently signed onto a coalition letter advocating for a more robust Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank in the 2018 Farm Bill. In addition to this letter, MSCA has been actively advocating for this 2018 Farm Bill priority with all of Minnesota's elected officials in Washington D.C.

To view the official letter, click HERE

July 18, 2017 

Dear Chairman Roberts, Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Stabenow, and Ranking Member Peterson:

The undersigned organizations very much appreciate the thoughtfulness and diligence you and your committee members bring to the work of passing a new bipartisan five-year Farm Bill. Given the breadth and complexity of this undertaking, we want to draw your attention to a proposed provision that is of the utmost importance to our memberships: the establishment and full funding of a robust U.S. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank. An outbreak of FMD will have a devastating effect on all of agriculture—not just livestock producers—and will have long-lasting ramifications for the viability of U.S. agriculture, the maintenance of food security and affordability in this great nation and overall national security. 

The ability to rapidly vaccinate susceptible livestock in the face of an FMD outbreak is critical. Current FMD vaccine stocks maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) are woefully inadequate to handle anything more than a very small, localized outbreak. This stock will not allow APHIS to implement its FMD response plan as intended, thereby placing the entire U.S. livestock industry in grave jeopardy. This situation is untenable given the recent global spread of FMD to new countries—some of which are hostile to the U.S.—and the ever-increasing movement of people and goods from around the world to the U.S. Introduction of FMD, be it accidental or an act of bioterrorism, is a growing and very real threat to our nation’s food supply. 

We understand that the cost of this request—$150 million per year—is significant. However, this cost must be considered against the projected economic consequences of an FMD outbreak in the U.S. An outbreak of FMD would immediately close all export markets. The cumulative impact of an outbreak on the beef and pork sectors over a 10-year period would be more than $128 billion, according to Iowa State University economists. The annual jobs impact of such a reduction in industry revenue is more than 58,000 in direct employment and nearly 154,000 in total employment. The impact would also be felt across the agriculture sector. Corn and soybean farmers would lose $44 billion and nearly $25 billion, respectively, making the impact on these four industries alone almost $200 billion. And that is just the monetary impact. It must also be considered that many livestock producers may not be able to recover from these losses, to the severe detriment of rural communities across this country. 

These costs can only be mitigated if the U.S. can mount a swift and thorough response once FMD is detected within our borders. Such a response is entirely reliant on having an adequate vaccine bank; there is no other option to prevent these catastrophic losses. Critically, it must be understood that the U.S. needs to make this investment now. Waiting to buy vaccine when we need it is not an option—current world production is committed to other countries, and vaccine simply won’t be available to us unless we start building this capacity now. 

Our organizations are eager to work with you to pass a 2018 Farm Bill that addresses this critical gap in our national security. We appreciate your support of our, and associated, industries. 


AgriLabs Alabama Cattlemen’s Association American Association of Bovine Practitioners American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians American Feed Industry Association American Horse Council American National Cattlewomen American Sheep Industry Association American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Health Institute Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Arizona Cattlemen’s Association Arizona Pork Council Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association Arkansas Pork Producers Association Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Association of Veterinary Biologics Companies Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health California Cattlemen’s Association California Pork Producers Association California Wool Growers Association Cargill Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Colorado Livestock Association Colorado Pork Producers Association Elanco Animal Health Florida Cattlemen’s Association Georgia Agribusiness Council Georgia Cattlemen’s Association Georgia Milk Producers Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association Hormel Foods Idaho Cattlemen’s Association Illinois Beef Association Illinois Pork Producers Association Indiana Beef Cattle Association Indiana Pork Advocacy Coalition Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Iowa Pork Producers Association JBS USA Kansas Livestock Association Kansas Pork Association Kentucky Pork Producers Association Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association Louisiana Pork Producers Association Merck Animal Health Michigan Agri-Business Association Michigan Cattlemen’s Association Michigan Pork Producers Association Minnesota Pork Producers Association Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association Mississippi Pork Producers Association Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Missouri Pork Association Montana Pork Producers Council National Agri-Marketing Association National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science National Association of Federal Veterinarians National Cattlemen's Beef Association National Corn Growers Association National Grain and Feed Association National Milk Producers Federation National Pork Producers Council National Renderers Association Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association Nebraska Pork Producers Association Nevada Cattlemen’s Association New York Pork Producers North American Meat Institute North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association North Carolina Pork Council North Dakota Pork Council North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Ohio Pork Council Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Oklahoma Pork Council Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Pennsylvania Center for Beef Excellence Public Lands Council Seaboard Corporation Smithfield Foods South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association South Carolina Pork Board South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association South Dakota Pork Producers Council Tennessee Pork Producers Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association Texas Cattle Feeders Association Texas Pork Producers Association Texas Southwest Cattle Raisers Association Tyson Foods, Inc. United States Animal Health Association Utah Cattlemen’s Association Utah Pork Producers Association Virginia Cattlemen’s Association Virginia Pork Council Washington Cattle Feeders Association Wisconsin Pork Association Wyoming Pork Producers Council Wyoming Stock Growers Association Zoetis

Posted: July 18, 2017