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Information about hoof and mouth cattle disease

"Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious virus spread by direct or indirect contact. It can be carried by birds, on clothes, on the tires of vehicles, on dust, and in infected meat eaten by animals. It can travel many miles simply borne on the wind. Once an animal is infected, symptoms begin to show one to ten days later. Heat, sunlight, and disinfectants destroy the virus. Scientists have made progress in developing a vaccine against the disease, but the cost of vaccinating all susceptible animals (possibly up to $1 billion a year) is seen by some public officials as prohibitive. Consequently, to prevent a widespread outbreak that could cause massive production losses, infected animals must be destroyed by incineration and affected areas must be isolated.

The most serious outbreak in the United States occurred in 1914 when animals in 22 states and the District of Columbia were stricken. The last major incidence of foot-and-mouth disease in England occurred in 1967. Some 440,000 animals were slaughtered, costing the farming industry $200 million (equivalent to $2.3 billion today).

Within weeks of the 2001 outbreak in England, hundreds of thousands of animals were infected and had to be killed and incinerated. Many others who were not infected were killed as a precautionary measure to stop the spread. The virus soon showed up in other European countries: France, the Netherlands, and Ireland all reported confirmed cases. Farming was not the only industry hit hard by the outbreak. Tourism was also severely affected as footpaths and walking trails in the English countryside that meandered near farms were closed to the public in an effort to halt the spread of the virus. The tourism industry lost an estimated $150 million a week as a result. The total cost to all industries affected in England (farming, sports, tourism) was estimated to be over $13 billion.

Some crops are cultivated to produce important medicines. An example is rosy periwinkle, which produces several chemicals that are extremely useful in the treatment of certain types of cancers. Other crops are cultivated to produce extremely profitable but illegal drugs for unlawful markets. Examples of these sorts of crops include marijuana, coca, and opium poppy."

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Information about hoof and mouth cattle disease

As for the walking ttrails that travel "near" farms in England, that's wrong because they actually cross individuals farms and the landowner can't forbid anyone use of them.  What better way to spread contagions than buy some city slicker stepping in poop or mud on an infected farm and then walking across yours.

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