Can Communicating with Consumers Help In Agriculture?

Related terms:
NIAA Animal Health Emergency Management Council

Foot-and-mouth disease, not to be confused with hand, foot and mouth disease, is a virus that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including cattle, sheep, and pigs. Foot-and-mouth disease is a serious animal disease but it does not affect food safety.

Unfortunately, many consumers are not aware of the disease until there is an outbreak. When surveyed, 69% of consumers say people can get FMD from infected meat, and many confuse FMD with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE. FMD cannot be spread to humans through meat consumption and FMD is not related to BSE.

To help better prepare the animal agriculture industry before outbreaks occur, Dairy Management Inc., The Pork Checkoff, and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association are working together to provide producers with the tools to help inform and educate consumers that FMD is not a threat to people and does not affect the safety of meat or milk. This presentation by Cindy Cunningham, Assistant VP of Communications, National Pork Board, shares the current state of the Cross Species FMD Communications Team. From 2011 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, April 11 - 14, San Antonio, TX USA.