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The Secure Beef Supply Plan

By Addie Womack

The Secure Beef Supply Plan is a continuity of business plan for cattle operations who find themselves affected by movement restrictions during a foot and mouth disease (abbreviated as FMD) outbreak in the United States.

About Foot and Mouth Disease

  • Viral disease affecting animals with divided hooves (cattle, swine, sheep, goats and deer).
  • Spreads quickly and causes serious illness (symptoms include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite and painful blisters on feet and mouth).
  • Not a threat to food safety or human health, but can impact food supply due to sick animals.

A strategy for disease control would be to stop animal and animal product (semen, embryos, and manure) movement in the areas of infected animals. While there has not been an outbreak in the United States since 1929, having a plan for your operation will control disease spread and reduce economic loss. A Secure Beef Supply Plan prepares producers to face these circumstances and meet any requirements that would come with movement after an outbreak.

Prepare Now

  • Obtain a Premises Identification Number (PIN).
    A PIN is linked to a valid 911 address with matching coordinates that reflect the actual location of the animals. A PIN can be requested from the South Dakota Animal Advisory Board.
  • Write an operation-specific enhanced biosecurity plan.
    A FMD or other highly contagious disease outbreak would require a heightened biosecurity plan to reduce spread. In the event of an outbreak, it is the producer’s responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their livestock, focusing on their operation and what they can control. There are three major components of an enhanced biosecurity plan:
    • Biosecurity Manager: The person responsible for the written plan and communicating with officials.
    • A written operation-specific enhanced biosecurity plan: A map indicating the line of separation (LOS), access points for animal, people and vehicle entry, cleaning and disinfection (C&D) stations, designated parking areas, and carcass movement pathways and disposal locations.
    • Line of Separation (LOS): Clearly identified boundary around of within the premises of the operation to separate off and on-farm movements.
  • Develop a contingency plan for period of restricted animal movement.
    This plan should support the operation’s biosecurity, maintain herd health, and minimize economic losses. View this Secure Beef Supply Plan publication for the components of a contingency plan.
  • Keep movement records.
    FMD virus can spread via vehicles and equipment, even people’s clothing and footwear. Keeping track of movement in and out of the operation would allow for accurate trace-back information.
  • Prepare to monitor for disease.
    Producers already routinely monitor their livestock, but be prepared to look for FMD symptoms and report infection.

Now you might be wondering, if there hasn’t been an outbreak in almost 100 years, why do I need to be prepared? Well, as we learned with COVID-19, an unexpected disease outbreak can quite literally cause the world to shut down. This caused backups in production and economic losses to livestock producers. The Secure Beef Supply Plan is designed to prepare producers in the event of an outbreak and minimize these losses. Feel free to reach out for help in creating your operation’s plan!

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