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tral American countries, would pay the indemnity for the animals destroyed.

We do not think it would be in the interests of this country to participate in such a program in a country where the disease is so widespread.

Mr. O'NEAL. I noticed that the covenant was nullified over 2 years ago, or about that time.

Dr. ANDERSON. Yes, it has been about that length of time. Mr. O'NEAL. Has there been any indication of the foot-and-mouth disease spreading into Panama as a result of the nullification ?

Dr. ANDERSON. There has been no evidence of the disease in Panama. We think that with the measures being applied it should be prevented, but there is a lot of traffic from that region, including small boat traffic across the mouth of the Atrato River from Colombia over into Panama. There is opportunity for smuggling of fresh meats and animals. It will take a real effort on the part of the Panamanians to prevent the entry of the disease.

Mr. O'NEAL. Thank you.
That is all, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Zwach.

Mr. Zwach. Dr. Anderson, is this legislation at the request of the Central American countries?

Dr. ANDERSON. Over a year ago, the Ministers of Agriculture appealed directly to Secretary Freeman and also through their organization, known as OIR & A, that I mentioned before, requesting that we join them in a commission-sort of organization as we have with Mexico. They requested assistance.

We informed them that we did not have the authority, but we thought that the idea was excellent.

Mr. Zwach. It was really your feeling that perhaps it is not quite adequately handled at the present time by our neighbors to the south?

Dr. ANDERSON. That is right, with the single exception of the Republic of Mexico.

Mr. ZWACH. This is sort of self-defense on our part?

Dr. ANDERSON. Yes. The Central American countries recognize their technical limitations as confronted with the increased danger of spread from South America. They have not been able to develop more adequate protection against possible introduction, to develop the capability for early detection and early diagnosis, and know-how to deal with the disease should it occur.

It is for that reason they are asking for assistance. It will not be in lieu of what is already being done. It is a supplement.

Mr. Zwach. A supplement?

Dr. ANDERSON. Yes. If we continue at this proposed level for a few years, it is very likely that they can develop capabilities whereby we can reduce our effort to one of just general technical assistance.

Mr. Zwach. Are we going to shoulder all of the cost of our people there?

Dr. ANDERSON. No, sir.
Mr. Zwach. What will it be?

Dr. ANDERSON. They will continue with their present effort. The prevention program would be imposed on top of what is now being

done. It calls for three U.S. veterinarians and one administrative officer, with their vehicles, and small sum for communication purposes.

The member countries will provide six veterinarians, one from each country. Then one to head up their operation as a counterpart of the United States. So they would be putting up more than twice as many professional people. They will provide whatever office space or housing facilities, and other support measures that will be necessary. But they can do this at a much cheaper rate than what it will cost to maintain our people down there. So they will more than match our effort.

Mr. ZWACH. To protect our own interests, your feeling is that this ought to be done?

Dr. ANDERSON. Yes, sir; very much so-very much so.
Mr. ZWACH. Thank you.
That is all, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions?
If not, we are very much obliged to you, Dr. Anderson.
Is there anyone else who wants to be heard?
(No response.)

(A telegram dated May 16, a statement dated May 21, and a letter dated May 17, 1968, all referred to above, follow :)


UVALDE, TEX., May 16, 1968. W. R. POAGE, Chairman, Committce on Agriculture, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.:

Received your letter with reference to H.R. 16451. Have contacted C. W. McMillan, ANCA, and fully support their position on legislation. Will not send separate testimony. Most valuable as shield against entrance of hoof and mouth to Central American countries, Mexico, and United States. Best regards,




Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the American Veterinary Medical Association on this important piece of legislation. We congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, on your foresight in presenting legislation which, if passed, will go far to strengthen the protection of the herds and flocks of the United States from these most dangerous animal diseases.

North America is by far the largest and most important livestock-producing area that remains free of foot-and-mouth disease and rinderpest. Partly, this has been due to the fortunate position of isolation from the other continents where one or both of these diseases are endemic. In recent years, however, with the rapidity of travel and the increase in trade and transport between North America and the rest of the world, the continued freedom from these diseases has been increasingly dependent upon the vigilance of the countries of North America to prevent the introduction of these diseases from abroad.

Stringent quarantine measures have been maintained to prevent introduction of these diseases, and heroic programs of eradication have been waged to stamp out outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease on the occasions when this disease has broken through the quarantine barriers. We know the committee is familiar with these events and the representatives of the Department will have further details available.

Although the United States suffered six outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease during the period 1900–1930, the imposition of more stringent quarantine measures at that time and the efforts of Mexico and Canada to eradicate outbreaks in their countries have kept this country free of such outbreaks for the past 38 years. This would not have been possible if our neighbors to the south and the north bad allowed the disease to gain permanent footholds in their countries.

In spite of the modern miracle of air travel, a sea barrier is still an allimportant basis for quarantine measures against the more contagious animal diseases. It would be all but impossible to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease across our land borders if the disease should become endemic in neighboring countries.

Until recently, we have had protection along the very narrow land connection between North America and South America because of (1) the practical diffculties of trade and travel through the region, and (2) the diligence of the governments of Colombia and Panama, with the cooperation of the International Regional Organization for Crops and Animal Sanitation (OIRSA) in carrying out quarantine measures in the Choco region in Columbia between the Atrato River and Panama. Now, however, roads are being improved to increase trade and travel, and the government of Colombia has ceased its participation in the cooperative quarantine measures.

Foot-and-mouth disease exists in Colombia. If, by diminishment of the proter. tive measures, the disease should spread into the livestock-raising areas of Panama, there is no reason to suppose that this highly contagious disease would not continue its northward spread-perhaps slowly, but surely-through Central America to Mexico and the United States. With each movement northward, the infected area would become larger and the problem of stamping out the disease would become infinitely more difficult.

We may be assured that each of the countries along the way would take such measures as they could to prevent the spread of the disease, but it does not appear possible that such measures would be successful considering the resources available to them and the large areas of very difficult country within which the work would have to be done. If the disease is not stopped along the way, the great herds and flocks of the United States stand completely vulnerable at the end of the line to absorb the full shock of the losses which continued exposure to foot-and-mouth disease carries with it. We can contemplate eradication programs as in the past, but with the disease ever present just across a land boundary, such efforts would be largely nullified.

The forward-looking proposals contained in H.R. 16451, Mr. Chairman, would permit the Secretary of Agriculture to take timely action now in concert with the governments of Central America to pool resources against the common danger. With similar arrangements already in effect with the government of Mexico, and the continuing informal arrangements of similar import with Canada, the governments of North America would be in a position to act together to take strong preventive action where it is most needed-at the gateway between Columbia and Panama.

In addition, the authorities contained in the bill would permit the Department to work in similar manner with the other governments to stamp out outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease or rinderpest without delay wherever they occur. The costs of such cooperative efforts would be far less than the costs of attempting the eradication of later outbreaks, and the chances of success would be infinitely greater.

Mr. Chairman, those who have dealt with foot-and-mouth disease know what a treacherous foe it is when it gains entrance into a new area. The past outbreaks in this country and those in Mexico and Canada illustrated the enormous difficulty and cost of eradication programs. The recent experience of the British in stamping out a series of outbreaks this past winter showed once again the magnitude of the problems involved in such undertakings.

Nevertheless, the debilitating losses caused by foot-and-mouth disease in cattle, sheep, swine, and goats make it clear that we dare not attempt to live with it. The experiences of other countries in attempting to control the disease with massive programs of vaccination illustrate the high cost of such measures and the inability to give full protection against the disease. The cost of the eradication program in Great Britain was only a fraction of the costs and losses that would have occurred if the disease had not been eradicated. A comparison of the numbers and values of livestock in Great Britain with those in North America further indicates the values to be protected on this continent.

Mr. Chairman, the American Veterinary Medical Association strongly supports H.R. 16451 and urges its speedy passage.


Denver, Colo., May 17, 1968. Hon. W. R. POAGE, Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR BOB: The American National Cattlemen's Association endorses H.R. 16451.

This legislation, we feel, is vital to the prevention of foot and mouth disease gaining entry into the United States. For many years, there has been an agreement with Mexico and the United States to maintain a surveillance system. A veterinary staff from the Agriculture Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is stationed in Mexico City to be liaison with the Mexican government. We feel this, in large measure, has been a reason why foot and mouth disease again has not gained a foothold in Mexico.

With the enactment of H.R. 16451, further assurances would be provided to keep the disease out of Mexico and thus out of the United States. As you and members of the House Committee on Agriculture undoubtedly are aware, the entire continent of South America is endemic with foot and mouth disease. We feel that it is quite fortunate that it has not crossed the Panama Canal and spread into the North American continent in many years. Additional safe-guards would be provided if H.R. 16451 were to become law and a similar working relationship developed between the Central American countries and the United States as that which exists today with Mexico and the U.S.

It would be a tragedy if the disease would gain entry into any North American nation, but particularly the United States, where we have such rapid intermingling of livestock with the sophisticated manner in which we move livestock over high speed highways and rails. The cost of the disease would be astronomical were it to gain entry into the United States. One only need look at the cost of eradicating the disease in England during their most recent outbreak to get an idea of the cost.

For these reasons, we hope that early and favorable action will be given to H.R. 16451 by the House Committee on Agriculture and later the House of Representatives.

We respectfully request that this letter be made a part of the hearing record. Thank you. Cordially,

C. W. MCMILLAN. The CHAIRMAN. If there is nothing further, the committee will go into executive session in a moment.

I want to ask Dr. Anderson some questions off the record. (Whereupon, there was a short discussion off the record.) The CHAIRMAN. I will ask Mr. Abbitt to take charge. He has a bill to

a present to the committee in executive session, together with another bill. I have to go to the Rules Committee right now. We will now

go into executive session. (Whereupon, at 10:30 a.m., the committee proceeded into executive session.)

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