USDA updates FMD response plan

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Updated plan recognizes vaccine is likely response tool to FMD outbreak.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has updated its foot and mouth disease (FMD) response plan for the U.S. as part of continued efforts to strengthen response capabilities in the event of an FMD outbreak.

APHIS said the updated plan — "USDA APHIS FMD Response Plan: The Red Book October 2020" — is comprehensive, and key revisions include:

  • Explicit recognition of policy that vaccine is a likely response tool in an FMD outbreak;
  • Current text of the FMD Chapter of the World Organization for Animal Health Terrestrial Animal Health Code;
  • Surveillance sections updated by the Center for Epidemiology & Animal Health;
  • Templates for epidemiology questionnaires and state FMD vaccine planning;
  • Streamlined FMD content into four chapters: (1) general information, (2) national roles, responsibilities and authorities, (3) response goals and strategy and (4) critical response activities;
  • “Essentials” sidebars for critical activities that highlight available training resources and planning considerations, and
  • Guidance on managing a national movement standstill prepared for the Agriculture Response Management & Resources (ARMAR) 2018 functional exercise.

APHIS noted that emergency planners, particularly those preparing for the Southern Animal Health Assn. FMD functional exercise slated for November 2021 — will find the updated material and format useful. The next plan will incorporate updated national policy guidance and/or lessons learned from multiple foreign animal disease (FAD) response experiences and exercises.

The "Red Book FMD Response Plan" may be accessed here. All other FAD PReP materials are accessible here. Feedback on the response plan and FAD PReP materials may be sent to FAD.PReP.Comments@usda.gov.

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