The recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Europe appears to be declining, and summer sunshine should provide an additional barrier to the spread of the disease. Producers in North America should not, however, let their guard down.

Kansas State University Veterinarians Mike Sanderson, Jan Sargeant and Mark Spire outline several tips for keeping FMD and other diseases out of your herd.

New Arrivals

  • One strategy is to maintain a closed herd, eliminating the introduction of any outside animals. This might be impractical over the long term, but is a prudent measure until the overseas FMD outbreak is completely contained.

    • Prevent fence-line contact of stock with other cattle.
    • Use artificial insemination for breeding and do not bring in bulls.
    • So not exhibit at shows.
    • Restrict visitors.
    • Know the source of incoming animals.
    • Require health certification on all incoming animals.
    • Receive incoming animals during daylight and inspect all animals as you take them off the truck.

    Farm Traffic

    • Inform herd workers, visitors and truckers of your farm-protection methods and insist upon cooperation from these individuals.
    • Keep visiting vehicles out of areas accessible to livestock.
    • Insist visitors wash and disinfect their boots before entering and leaving.
    • Supply rubber boots and clean coveralls for visitors.
    • Provide a footbath containing an effective disinfectant.
    • Control the movement of dogs and cats between farms.
    • Wash farm clothing with detergents and bleach.
    • Ask foreign visitors about their visits to farms in their country of origin.
    • Restrict visitors from the farm if the visitor has been on a farm with a contagious animal disease within the previous five days.


    • Use your own equipment, halters, nose tongs, clippers etc., rather than borrowing them.
    • Thoroughly wash and disinfect the inside, outside and tires of equipment shared with neighbors.