World Organisation for Animal Health

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Foot and mouth disease Portal

Prevention and control

The initial measures in the global strategy for dealing with FMD are early detection and warning systems and prevention and rapid response measures and mechanisms in place. This contributes to monitoring the occurrence, prevalence and characterisation of FMD viruses.

Protection of FMD free countries, areas or zones is enhanced with stringent import and cross-border animal movement controls and surveillance.

It is essential for livestock owners and producers to maintain sound biosecurity practices to prevent introduction/spread of the virus. Measures that are recommended at the farm level include:

  • control the introduction of new animals to existing stock;
  • control over access to livestock by people and equipment;
  • maintain sanitation of livestock pens, buildings, vehicles and equipment ;
  • monitor and report illness;
  • appropriate disposal of manure and dead carcasses.


Contingency planning for potential outbreaks will identify the elements included in a response effort to eradicate the disease, such as:

  • humane destruction of all infected, recovered and FMD-susceptible contact animals;
  • appropriate disposal of carcasses and all animal products;
  • surveillance and tracing of potentially infected or exposed livestock;
  • strict quarantine and controls on movement of livestock, equipment, vehicles, and;
  • thorough disinfection of premises and all infected material (implements, cars, clothes, etc.)


In endemic areas, culling may be complemented by vaccination for susceptible livestock. Vaccines used must protect against the particular virus strain prevalent in the area.