The Department of Homeland Security and the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense are funding an online research survey by the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance at UC-Davis. Launched last year, the research takes information from livestock producers to build a computer simulation of how foot-and-mouth disease would spread in the U.S. and find how best to control the disease.
"It is very important that we get as many responses as possible from producers so we can determine the best containment strategy and stop foot-and-mouth disease in its tracks," said Dr. Tim Carpenter, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and primary investigator for the study. "The recent outbreak in the UK is a stark reminder that foot-and-mouth can strike the US at any time."
Carpenter urges producers to take the five to ten minutes required to answer the nine questions in the survey. The information provided will only be used for modeling purposes and will be kept confidential.
A foot-and-mouth outbreak in the U.S. would be devastating to the livestock industry. An outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001 cost more than $5 billion.
"In the US, the economic impact of an outbreak is estimated to be as high as $13 billion," Carpenter said. "By answering our short survey and forwarding it to others, livestock producers can help us prevent this from happening in the US."
To take the online survey click HERE.