The American Sheep Industry Association has completed the development of the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan for Business Continuity in a Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak. ASI worked with the Center for Food Security and Public Health at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine to develop this plan.
The sheep industry is a diverse industry producing quality meat and wool products under a variety of management and environmental conditions. The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan focuses on business continuity in the event of an FMD outbreak. FMD is the most highly contagious disease of livestock and affects domestic cloven-hoofed animals (cattle, swine, sheep and goats) and many wild animals (deer, bison, pronghorn antelope and feral swine). FMD is not a food safety or public health concern.
Having the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan in place prior to an FMD outbreak is critical for food security and animal health and well-being. The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan will facilitate the safe movement of sheep and wool with no evidence of disease from farms in an FMD control area to harvest channels or to other farms. The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan will enhance coordination and communication between all parties, speed up a successful FMD response, and support continuity of operations for sheep producers and associated industries.
“The industry is pleased to have completed this plan with the assistance of the Iowa State’s Center for Food Security and Public Health and the volunteers that served on the stakeholder group,” said ASI President Benny Cox of Texas. “ASI funded this project because it is important for our producers to have a plan to follow to ensure the economic viability of the American sheep and wool industry during an FMD outbreak.”
The poultry, beef, milk and pork industries have worked collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state animal health officials and academia to develop business continuity plans for their industries. The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan is consistent with USDA’s FMD response goals and other Secure Food Supply Plans to maintain business continuity for sheep and wool producers (whose animals are not infected with FMD) and processors and to provide a safe, continuous supply of lamb, mutton and wool for consumers.