Officials from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand have signed an agreement that supports the sharing of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine bank.
According to a news release from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the non-binding agreement, states that in the event of a FMD outbreak, the participating countries would help facilitate the rapid consideration of requests for additional vaccine does, thereby assisting the affected country or countries to benefit from additional vaccine doses.
The agreement was reached as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) held its 84th general session in Paris.
While there has not been a FMD outbreak in the United States since 1929, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in March announced that it would seek a supply of vaccines to protect U.S. swine, cattle, sheep and goat herds from FMD.
The announcement from APHIS came less than one month after Rep. Collin Peterson, ranking member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, and other legislators called for a stockpile of FMD vaccines.
While the OIE has not reported any FMD outbreaks from any of the countries participating in the agreement, it has reported the presence of FMD in pigs in South Korea, Armenia and Israel in 2016. The disease has also been found in cattle in Israel, Botswana, Malawi, Kuwait, South African and Armenia in 2016, according to the OIE.