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NFU Supports Johnson-Enzi Legislation

29 January 2009

US - National Farmers Union (NFU) announced support for the bipartisan Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2009 introduced yesterday by Senators Tim Johnson, D-S.D. and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., that would prevent imports of Argentinean livestock and meat products until the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) certifies the country Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free.

In a letter of support, NFU President Tom Buis applauded the Senators for their leadership, efforts to protect the American livestock industry and consumer confidence.

“The ban proposed in your legislation is necessary in order to prevent jeopardizing our own efforts to eradicate livestock diseases, and thereby protecting the food supply,” Mr Buis said. “The legislation is needed to ensure this dangerous disease is not introduced in the United States and that Argentina regions are not an exception to the rule.”

FMD is a highly infectious virus that, if introduced into the United States, could contaminate entire herds and leave producers in financial ruin, as infected herds must be culled to prevent the spread of the disease. FMD is so devastating the American Veterinary Medical Association considers it to be the most economically destructive of all livestock diseases.

“FMD presents a very real threat to American agriculture and its introduction into the United States can and must be prevented,” Mr Buis said.

Senators Jon Tester, D-Mont., John Thune, R-S.D., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Ben Nelson, D- Neb., are co-sponsors of the legislation.

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