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Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention


In response to the increasing number of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks worldwide, travelers to the United States from infected regions need to take steps to help prevent the accidental introduction of the disease into this country.

FMD is not considered a human health risk but humans can carry the virus on their clothing, shoes, body (particularly the throat and nasal passages) and personal items. The disease is extremely contagious and spreads easily among cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer. Introduction of FMD into this country would be disastrous to the American livestock industry and wildlife community. For this reason, all visits to farms other livestock facilities in FMD infected areas and all food items and other materials of plant or animal origin in the traveler’s possession must be reported on the U.S. Customs Declaration Form upon entering the country.

The following preventive measures should be taken by travelers to the United States from FMD infected countries:

  1. Avoid farms, sale barns, stockyards, animal laboratories, packing houses, zoos, fairs, or other animal facilities for 5 days prior to travel.
  2. Before travel to the United States, launder or dry clean all clothing and outerwear. All dirt and soil should be removed from shoes by thorough cleaning. Luggage and personal items (including watches, cameras, laptops, CD players, and cell phones), if soiled, should be wiped clean.
  3. Avoid contact with livestock or wildlife for 5 days after arrival in the United States. Extra precautionary measures should be taken by people traveling from farms in infected locales to visit or work on farms in the United States. It is advisable that employers or sponsors provide arriving travelers with a clean set of clothing that can be worn after the visitor showers and shampoos thoroughly. Visitor’s traveling clothes should be laundered or dry cleaned immediately. Off-farm activities should be scheduled for the visitor’s first 5 days in-country and contact with livestock or wildlife should be strictly avoided.

Persons who enroll in the Master Hoof Care Program are required to comply with these recommendations in order to be granted permission to participate in the course. We thank you in advance for understanding the purposes for this policy.

For Updates please check the web sites below:

OIE Disease Information - Foot and Mouth disease information      

Foot and Mouth Fact Sheet - US State Department

Foot and Mouth Disease Factsheet - APHIS

Source : http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/fmd/travinfo.html United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services