The USDA has reopened a comment period regarding a petition from a vaccine manufacturer seeking approval to produce a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine.
The comment period was announced by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for an additional 30 days. The vaccine consists of a modified non-infectious and non-transmissible strain of the virus on the U.S. mainland.
Although introduction of live FMD virus into the United States is prohibited by law, the petition states that this strain should not be considered live FMD virus as it is non-infectious, non-transmissible, and incapable of causing FMD.
Public comments will be accepted through January 21, 2021, via the federal register.
FMD is a severe and highly contagious viral disease affecting cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, and other animals with divided hooves. It was eradicated from the United States in 1929, but if it were to infect the U.S. livestock industry, it would likely cause devastating economic effects.