Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)is a severe, highly contagious viral disease among cloven-hooved animals. It affects cattle, sheep, goats and swine. FMD is not recognised as a zoonotic disease but causes immense economic losses due to a drop in the production of affected animals.

Signs of Foot and Mouth in Cattle

  • Slobbering and smacking lips
  • Shivering
  • Tender and sore feet
  • Reduced milk yield
  • Sores and blisters on feet
  • Raised temperature

Signs of Foot and Mouth in Sheep

  • Sudden, severe lameness
  • Lies down frequently and is very unwilling to rise
  • When made to rise stands in a half-crouching position, with hind legs brought well forward, reluctant to move
  • Blisters may be found on the hoof where the horn joins the skin, extending all around the coronet and in the cleft of the foot. When they burst the horn is separated from the tissue underneath, and the hair around the hoof may appear damp
  • Blisters may be found on the dental pad and sometimes the tongue

Signs of Foot and Mouth in Pigs

  • Sudden lameness
  • Prefers to lie down
  • When made to move squeals loudly and hobbles painfully
  • Blisters form on the upper edge of the hoof, where the skin and horn meet, and on the heels and in the cleft
  • May extend right round the top of the hoof with the result that the horn becomes separated
  • Blisters may develop on the snout or on the tongue

The disease spreads rapidly among animals and if it is diagnosed on your farm necessary authorities should be notified and your farm must be quarantined to prevent its spread to neighbouring farms
Animals get infected through direct contact with other infected animals or by contaminated carcasses. External factors that can introduce the disease to your farm include feed, rodents, vehicles and people. Airborne spread can also occur in warm dry windy conditions.
This disease has no treatment and animals rarely die due to the disease itself, but because of the huge economic impact it has on the farmer prevention is key.

Implementing the following standard biosecurity practices reduces the risk of introduction of the disease to your farm

  1. Quarantine any new animals coming onto your farm
  2. Quarantine any animals suspected to have contracted the disease
  3. Vaccinate for any preventablediseases
  4. Limit/ stop the transport of animals
  5. Wear protective clothing when working with suspected diseased animals and disinfect hands and shoes after
  6. The quarantine area can be disinfected daily whilst animals are present
  7. Limit visitors to your farm
  8. Implement vehicle wheel dip and spraying for any vehicles coming onto the farm
  9. All visitors must make use of footbaths with disinfectant solution
  10. Have two footbaths, one with clean water and a brush to take off any mud/faeces
  11. stuck to the soles before dipping in disinfectant
  12. Hand sanitiser should be readily available to use after working with animals

Biosecurity products are available from BUPO.

Disinfectant that can be effectively used as a detergent as well as a surface and aerial disinfectant. Effective against Viruses, Bacteria and Fungi.

Disinfectant that can be effectively used as a detergent as well as a surface and aerial disinfectant.Effective against Viruses, Bacteria and Fungi.

Broad-spectrum disinfectant that gives high levels of control of persistent micro-organisms including Coccidia, Cryptosporidium, Clostridia, roundworm eggs, viruses, red mite larvae, eggs and bacteria on a wide range of surfaces.

Alcohol-based, waterless hand sanitiser eliminating contamination by touch.