Several states across the US have established added border controls to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease. The US department of agriculture has already banned imports of some animals and meats and farm equipment from the EU in response to the disease, but officials in Colorado, North Dakota and Montana, where there is a high population of livestock, believe they have not gone far enough.
The states have imposed further import regulations, involving disinfectant baths and bans of animals not covered by the federal ban. Last week, Colorado extended the import ban to include horses and companion animals, a restriction that will apply to all animals until their country of origin has been declared free of foot and mouth disease for six months.
Meanwhile, North Dakota officials implemented a similar string of emergency measures last week; a ban on all farm animals from FMD infected countries until the disease has been wiped out for six months. Any companion animals will be subject to quarantine and vinegar-and-water baths.
Montana is similarly implementing new restrictions, with all FMD preventative measures set to apply to all animals, including dogs, cats and exotic birds.
The officials admit that these restriction policies are difficult to enforce, but they are confident that with help from local farmers and vets the rules will be implemented efficiently. Such strict measures are essential, according to the states’ veterinarians in order to protect the multi-billion dollar cattle industry.