In Response To The USDA

There is a page of "facts" about vaccination by the USDA at I want to address some of what they have written. Their comments are in dark red, mine in blue. Links are bright red, used links (you've been there) are green.
  • The FMD Vaccine

    Vaccines are used to produce or stimulate immunity against a particular disease. FMD vaccines are killed virus preparations that are pure, safe, and effective, and they are available to the United States through the North American Foot-and-Mouth Vaccine Bank. Mexico and Canada are also members of the Vaccine Bank.

    There are seven different types and more than 60 subtypes of FMD virus, and there is no universal vaccine against the disease. Vaccines for FMD must match to the type and subtype present in the affected area. The North American FMD Vaccine Bank stores different types of concentrated, inactivated FMD virus antigen at ultralow temperatures over liquid nitrogen. In this state, several types of antigen can be kept indefinitely and formulated into vaccine rapidly should an FMD outbreak occur.

    So right there they say vaccines are;

    1. Available
    2. Pure
    3. Safe
    4. Effective
    5. NEW vaccines can be made RAPIDLY

  • Animals that receive the vaccine usually develop some degree of protection against clinical signs of FMD within 7 to 8 days.

    Many say 2 to 3 days, but if we vaccinate PRIOR to an outbreak in a PREVENTATIVE manner (as we do for other livestock diseases) that becomes a fairly moot point.

  • Scientists at FADDL monitor FMD outbreaks around the world and stock the North American Vaccine Bank with antigens for the most active serotypes or strains of the virus. If necessary, these scientists can isolate and identify an FMD serotype from a field sample in as little as four days. With this information, FADDL scientists would know what vaccine type to order from an overseas supplier, and if it were not in stock, the supplier could use the isolate to create a new vaccine. FADDL scientists also test currently available vaccines. Their testing has helped ensure that FMD vaccines are not contaminated with other microorganisms and that they do not produce adverse local or systemic reactions following administration.

    So if a new strain or subtype breaks out, within 4 days every lab that has permission could be making a new vaccine.

  • Although there are FMD vaccines available, they are not currently used in this country because the United States has been free of the disease since 1929. There is no need to vaccinate against a disease that no animals have, especially when strict import restrictions are in place.

    Taiwan was FMD-Free a year longer than the US until 1997. So they have proven that the risk has increased, even for countries that have been FMD-Free a long time. As with anything else in life, prevention makes more sense.

  • USDA has several reservations about implementing a vaccination program. First, for animals to maintain immunity to FMD, annual re-vaccination is required.

    Yes, this is true for livestock diseases that we vaccinate for already. So what? We don't leave them unprotected by not vaccinating just because we have to do it again.

  • This would be a costly investment

    • KILLING our healthy livestock isn't a COSTLY way to deal with a MINOR livestock disease that doesn't pose a health risk to humans?
    • Ruining tourism and other businesses isn't costly?
    • Creating pollution from the burning or burying - that CAN cause human health risk - isn't costly?
    • The emotional and psychological aspects for those that have healthy animals (many are pets) murdered isn't costly?
    • Having our property rights stripped from us isn't costly?

    Vaccination is part of the price of owning animals/livestock. Vaccinations cost money, but so what? We already vaccinate for other things and know this and expect it. ANY business, and most hobbies, have expenses. The FMD vaccinations are no more costly than others, and cheaper than some.

  • and would require considerable effort on the part of animal health technicians, producers, veterinarians, and others involved in the livestock industry.

    It would be no different than other vaccinations. If they want, it could be as rabies vaccines are - administered only by a vet. Put some money in our vet's pockets and let our livestock be vaccinated. Or let us vaccinate for ourselves. We vaccinate for other things anyway, it doesn't pose any kind of realistic a problem.

  • There is also a risk of the disease spreading outside of vaccination zones.

    There is EVERY RISK of that NOW because every area is outside of ANY protection. There would just be LESS risk! Right now there is not even the sensible "break" vaccine would provide.

  • For example, vaccine teams could carry the virus from an infected farm to a clean farm if they do not follow proper sanitary procedures.

    If we vaccinate PRIOR to an outbreak, there IS no infection to spread. That evidently keeps escaping their thought processes. PREVENTION is not in their vocabulary.

    If we vaccinate AFTER an FMD outbreak when THEY chose to, their scenario IS likely to happen.

    Just so you know - if they do choose to "ring vaccinate" because FMD has spread out of control, all vaccinated animals will be killed within 6 months. So you'll have that to look forward to also.

  • In addition, once the vaccination program starts, the United States might be lulled into a false sense of security.

    I don't even BELIEVE they say this! Let's not lock our doors at night America, because it will give us a false sense of security. Let's not do ANYTHING to protect ourselves, because we might forget we aren't safe. That makes even less sense than any of the weak arguments they've posed previously.

  • The vaccine does not protect animals against FMD infection; it is designed to protect animals from developing the clinical symptoms of the disease. This means that if a vaccinated animal encountered the disease in circulation, the animal could harbor the virus for several months or years in its upper respiratory tract.

    This is not true according to other sources. And IF that IS true, it will happen ANYWAY because we cannot see symptoms until days AFTER the virus is active. So it is ALREADY being spread by/to wildlife.

  • Members of the public who do not realize this might allow vaccinated animals to come into contact with unvaccinated animals, including deer and other wildlife, and the vaccinated animals may spread the disease.

    I laughed hard over this one. Wild animals (such as deer) OFTEN cross through pastures, come up to fences, and drink from the same water as domestic livestock. They are coming into contact whether we give them a "formal introduction" or not. This is a WIND BORNE virus, no "introductions" are needed. And according to an expert only ONE case - a water buffalo in Africa - has shown this possibility. HOWEVER, without vaccination, since the virus is passed PRIOR to symptoms, our wildlife will surely be infected. An FMD outbreak will DEFINITELY leave wildlife totally exposed.

  • Finally, if an FMD vaccination program were implemented in the United States, our country's international trade status would be compromised.

    There is the TRUTH. That is the ONLY reason we cannot vaccinate.

    If NEW trade laws were set in place tomorrow for auto manufacturers that export... if they decided if we lock our car doors in the US the car exporters would make less money... would you give up your car keys??? I guess the government could force you to. People in other countries would get cars with door keys, but they would be illegal in the US. They'd tell us that door keys would give us a false sense of security.

    Because US cars with door keys would mean less money for the exporters and government, so there go your rights to protect yourself.

    It is EXACTLY the same thing and I can't believe Americans don't see it! We are left "leaving the barn door open" to a disease we can protect our livestock from because it lines the pockets of others.

    The Emperor has NO CLOTHES! Why won't people speak up? We are getting shafted folks. We are being lied to, we are having our rights stripped away, and we are treated as if we are too stupid to notice. Are we?

  • USDA currently maintains a variety of FMD antigens, which could be swiftly finished and deployed as vaccine if officials determined this to be an appropriate response to an FMD outbreak. There are drawbacks to using the vaccine, including its potentially devastating impact on export markets, so USDA's first response to an outbreak would be one of "stamping out" of freezing animal movement and eradicating the disease immediately.

    "Stamping out" is their "sanitized" way of saying KILL. They will kill & burn (or bury). And the ONLY "devastating effects" they are concerned about are export $$$. What about America? What about OUR rights? Our animals? Our businesses? Pollution?

  • USDA scientists at Plum Island Animal Disease Center continue to develop and experiment with novel biotechnology to improve the FMD vaccine.

    Witness the double-talk! They have ALREADY said at the beginning that vaccines ARE effective. Fred Brown says they are effective. Fred Brown says the diagnostic kits are effective. And the USDA just ADMITTED, it has NOTHING to do with any of that - it has to do with export dollars.

    The issue here is an international trade issue, not an "animal disease" issue. Not an "effective vaccine" issue.

    This is a "property rights" issue. It is a "pollution/ecology" issue.

    What is comes down to is that the government wants to dazzle you into accepting the horror THEY will create if FMD hits here (while they use your tax dollars to do it) when we could easily avoid all of the "horror" by the use of a simple vaccine.

    Some exporters would make less money, but they can still export to many countries. I'll bet that would encourage them to start changing the trade laws to reflect a SANE approach to a mild livestock disease.

    Rabies is a very, very serious animal disease and DOES pose a real threat to humans, but you don't see the USDA running around killing off all susceptible livestock within 40 miles if an animal shows up with rabies. AND we are ALLOWED to VACCINATE against rabies. So why should we kill everything for miles over a livestock disease that DOESN'T pose a threat to humans, and isn't usually fatal to the animal? Has common sense COMPLETELY disappeared? We need to be ALLOWED to vaccinate. To protect our property (livestock, businesses, pets, land, water and air) in a sane and sensible fashion.

    Would you ask your neighbor to give up their rights, to kill their living creatures, take losses to their livelihood - so you can make more money?

    And even if you asked, do you think they'd agree?

    Well, maybe. We all seem to be agreeing so far.

    FMD probably cannot be stamped out completely in the world because there are so many countries where it is endemic.

    HOWEVER, we haven't stamped out rabies in the US either. But we CAN LEGALLY protect our stock and animals. We need that same right with FMD.

    If bio-terrorism is used, they could EASILY start it where there is a lot of wildlife (but little livestock) so that it becomes endemic here BEFORE it even hits the large livestock areas. Frankly, that would be the smart way for fanatics to do it because it would cause a huge, uncontainable spread. We wouldn't know until it started cropping up and there on farms surrounding large wildlife areas - way too late to do anything to keep it from spreading through domestic livestock like wildfire.

    So it makes sense to AT LEAST protect our livestock.

    They could also keep "sentinel animals" unvaccinated in large livestock areas to check for evidence of FMD related bio-terrorism or the FMD virus brought in accidentally.

    Let's not get "culled", let's fight for our rights.

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Chelle Rogers © 2001 * All Rights Reserved
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