An outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United States could shut down beef and pork exports and profoundly disrupt our markets for years. Fortunately, we have not had FMD in this country since 1929, and experts around the country are working to keep it that way. But today, with more international movement of people and animals and greater dependence on export markets, the risk and consequence of an outbreak are far greater.

During the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s annual conference this week, state and federal animal-health officials discussed prevention and response plans related to introduction of foreign animal diseases, particularly foot and mouth disease, in the United States.