Black faced sheep herd

Sheep and Wool Supply Plan

Joanna CummingsAnimal Health, Livestock diseases, Planning Leave a Comment

The United States is fortunate that foot and mouth disease (FMD)—a highly contagious, devastating viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals—has not occurred in the country since 1929. Secure Food Supply Plans, including the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan, were developed to assist producers, transporters and food processors in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S., namely FMD. If FMD is found in U.S. livestock, regulatory officials will limit the movement of animals and animal products to try and control the spread of this disease.

The plans provide opportunities for producers to voluntarily prepare before an outbreak. This will better position premises that have no evidence of infection to:

  • limit exposure of their animals through enhanced biosecurity,
  • move animals to processing or another premises under a movement permit issued by regulatory officials, and
  • maintain business continuity for the industry, including producers, haulers, and packers during an FMD outbreak.

The plans are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). The National Pork Board provides additional funding for the Secure Pork Supply Plan, and the American Sheep Industry Association solely funded creation of the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan.

The Plans

The five secure food supply plans for the following animal products are:

The Sheep and Wool Plan

On August 4, 2020, a webinar was held by Dr. Jay Parsons of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with presenter Danelle Bickett-Weddle of the Center for Food Security and Public Health, to discuss FMD, how the U.S. plans to respond if an outbreak occurs in North America, and the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan resources available to protect the flock. The webinar recording is below, and webinar slide deck can be downloaded here.


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About the Author

Joanna Cummings

Joanna Cummings received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), with a specialization in vegetable crop and greenhouse production. At PSU, she was a research technician on no-tillage vegetable crop experiments, and a greenhouse assistant in the All-American Selections Research Gardens. Her career in the agriculture industry includes field research, work with dairy and vegetable farms, and as a greenhouse manager, estate gardener, landscaping and market garden entrepreneur. She transitioned to the science communication field after receiving a master of science degree in environmental communications from Antioch University New England. At Antioch, Joanna was a field botany laboratory teaching assistant, manager of the herbarium, and editor of the department's student newsletter, Notes and Niches. She currently works with Research Professor Julie M. Smith as a communications professional in the University of Vermont Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department. She is the webmaster for the Healthy Farms Healthy Agriculture website.

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