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FMD_ France_ March 2001

CEI Logo Foot and Mouth Disease, France
Impact Worksheet, March 2001


France’s Agriculture Ministry confirmed on March 12, 2001 an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) on a farm in the region of Mayenne in northwest France. The disease was confirmed in six bovines on a single farm which was located 500 meters from a farm which had imported sheep from the UK in February 2001. Thus, this outbreak is thought to be linked to the ongoing FMD outbreak in the UK and represents the first documented spread of the outbreak to the European continent. Control measures reported by French authorities included movement controls inside the country, intensified border precautions, stamping out, screening, and vaccination prohibition. On March 5 France banned export of all animals at risk for FMD and suspended for two weeks the transportation of all cloven-hoofed animals, except to slaughterhouses.

The US imported no live ruminants or swine from France during 1999, 2000 and January-February 2001. Imports into the US of live ruminants and ruminant products from France have been prohibited since late 1997 because of BSE. The US has imported other products that could potentially present a risk for FMD. These products include salted, dried or smoked pork, biologics, animal feeds, dairy products and hides. France exports annually over 2.5 million live cattle, pigs and sheep (combined) and significant amounts of meat products derived from these species, primarily to EU countries. In addition to EU countries, Russia is a significant importer of French meat.

The USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has intensified its ongoing measures to exclude the FMD virus from the US, including (1) temporary import bans on animals and animal products from all countries in the European Union, (2) heightened alerts, disinfection protocols, and traveler education campaigns at US airports and other ports of entry, and (3) disinfection procedures for US imports of agricultural equipment from European Union countries. USDA-APHIS officials around the country are visiting slaughter plants and livestock concentration points to emphasize prevention, surveillance, and reporting procedures; USDA-APHIS officials are also sharing information and coordinating activities with State Commissioners, State Veterinarians, animal industries, and veterinary practitioners. USDA has also sent a team of federal, state, and academic experts to the European Union to monitor and assist in containing the outbreak.

FMD France

How extensive is the situation in France, and what was the country’s disease status prior to the outbreak?

An outbreak with six bovine cases of foot and mouth disease was confirmed on a premises with 114 susceptible bovine in northwest France. All 114 were destroyed. Prior to this outbreak, the USDA had recognized France as FMD free. The outbreak affected dairy cows and young bulls on a farm near the village of La Baroche-Gondouin in Mayenne Department; the farm is located 500 meters from a premise that imported sheep from the United Kingdom in February 2001. Date of initial detection was March 12. Diagnostic tests performed at AFSSA/LERPAZ - MAISONS ALFORT include complement fixation, ELISA, and cell culture; serotyping is ongoing. Control measures reported by French authorities included movement controls inside the country, intensified border precautions, stamping out, screening, and vaccination prohibition. On March 5 France banned export of all animals at risk for FMD and suspended for two weeks the transportation of all cloven-hoofed animals, except to slaughterhouses. Additional spread is of concern, since news reports state that sheep imported from Britain had gone to 20 separate areas of France.

Sources: USDA, APHIS, VS; OIE; Reuters; Agworldwide

What is the country’s production and trade in affected animals and animal products?

France had approximately 20.2 million cattle, 14.6 million swine, and 10.1 million sheep in 2000 (Table 1). These numbers represent 1.5 percent, 1.6 percent and less than 1 percent of world stocks of cattle, swine, and sheep respectively.

In 1999, France exported almost 1.6 million cattle, representing almost 17 percent of world cattle exports for that year. France’s exports of live cattle in 1999 went almost exclusively to EU countries, notably Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal (in rank order). Lebanon imported 39 thousand live cattle from France in 1999. France exported over 328 thousand live swine in 1999, which also went almost exclusively to other EU countries, notably Spain, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal (in rank order). France exported over 950 thousand sheep in 1999. Their destinations were not specified. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service projects France’s exports of live cattle and swine to have been of similar magnitude in 2000.

In 1999, France exported over 400 thousand metric tons of bovine meat, primarily to EU countries, notably Italy, Greece, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the Netherland, and the UK (in rank order). Russia imported over 48 thousand metric tons of beef and veal from France in 1999. France exported over 570 thousand metric tons of swine meat in 1999. The two countries importing the largest amount of swine meat from France in 1999 were Italy (125 thousand metric tons) and Russia (105 thousand metric tons). Other EU countries importing swine meat from France in 1999 were the UK, Germany, Greece, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland (in rank order after Italy and Russia). South Korea and Japan imported 13.2 thousand and 11.3 thousand metric tons of swine meat from France in 1999. France exported over 8.5 thousand metric tons of mutton and lamb in 1999. Importers of French mutton and lamb were not specified. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service projects France’s exports of bovine and swine meat to have been of similar magnitude in 2000.

Sources: UN Food and Agriculture Organization; USDA, FAS, Attaché Reports, July 28, 2000 and Jan 30, 2001

Table 1: Production and trade in live animals and animal products, France,

2000 (Production) and 1999 (Trade)


% of World

Live animal stocks (# head)









Production (mt)

Beef and veal



Pig meat



Mutton and lamb



Live animal imports (# head)










Live animal exports (# head)










Product imports (mt)

Bovine meat



Pig meat



Mutton and lamb



Product exports (mt)

Bovine meat



Pig meat



Mutton and lamb



Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization

What are the US imports of affected animals or animal products from France?

No live ruminants or swine were imported into the US from France during 1999 or 2000 (source: World Trade Atlas) or January-February 2001 (source: APHIS Import Tracking System). The US imported 192 live horses--plus unspecified live animals with total value of about $50,000-- in year 2000. Some salted, dried, smoked, or otherwise preserved or prepared meat products were imported by the US from France in 2000 and 1999. In 2000, the US also imported dairy products valued at about $77 million, biologics valued at $65 million, and smaller quantities of animal feeds and byproducts.

Table 2: US imports of live animals and relevant animal products from France in 1999 and 2000




Quantity or Value

Quantity or Value

Live animals - quantity

Live horses (# head)



Other live animals, not specified ($ million)



Meat, salted, dried, or smoked - quantity

Pork (kg)



Other products - value ($ million)

Biologics - hormones, vaccines, etc



Animal feeds



Dairy products



Animal fats



Hides & skins (not tanned), wool



Hair, guts, glands



Ice cream, protein concentrates



Prepared or preserved meat



: World Trade Atlas

What is the level of passenger traffic arriving in the United States from the affected country?

Mechanical transmission of FMD virus is important because the amount of virus present on shoes or clothes is generally sufficient for the infective dose. Thus, passengers themselves are significant in addition to the amount of potentially contaminated product that passengers are carrying.

In 1999, 4.8 million air passengers arrived in the US on direct flights from France. A total of 6,007 passengers from France were sampled as part of APHIS, PPQ’s Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Monitoring in fiscal year 1999. Of these passengers from France, 350, or 5.8 percent, were carrying a total of 364 kg of potentially hazardous items such as meat products, cheese, or hides. By comparison, 5.1 percent of sampled passengers from all countries were carrying similar items. Two of the sampled passengers from France who were carrying potentially hazardous items reported plans to visit or work on a farm or ranch while in the US; their reported destination was Texas.

Source: US Dept of Transportation; US Dept of Commerce; APHIS-PPQ Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Monitoring data base

USDA actions:

With this detection of FMD in France, the February 2001 FMD outbreak in the United Kingdom has spread to one country on the European continent. Prior to the outbreaks, intra-European Union trade of animals and animal products was significant.

The USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has intensified its year round measures to ensure that the US remains an FMD-free country. Effective March 13, USDA temporarily prohibited US importation of animals and animal products from the European Union; the ban is for two weeks, and any relevant products en route to the US since February 21 will be held. The import ban augments existing restrictions on importation of ruminants and ruminant products to prevent introduction of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to the US.

International travelers arriving at US airports are routinely prohibited from carrying agricultural or animal products, and heightened alerts and inspections are in place at airports and other ports of entry. Passengers are required to identify any farm contact to US Customs and APHIS officials, and travelers arriving at 110 US ports of entry will be asked upon arrival if they visited a farm while in Europe. APHIS inspectors are conducting an outreach and education campaign for international travelers, including a public demonstration on April 14 of airport procedures to screen passengers, disinfect soiled footwear, and detect prohibited products in luggage. The public education campaign also includes additional signs in airports, public announcements, information hotline, and website to better inform the public about the importance of FMD and exclusion measures for the US.

New restrictions on agricultural equipment imported from Europe are also in place at US ports of entry. Effective March 13, cleaning and disinfection of used tractors, mowers, tillers, and other farm vehicles from FMD-affected countries is required for entry, regardless of whether the equipment appears clean on physical inspection. Rail manifests are also being carefully reviewed for used farm equipment.

APHIS veterinary and plant officials across the country have intensified outreach to state government and industry leaders to inform them of APHIS prevention and preparedness measures. APHIS officials in each state are reviewing protocols at ports of entry, visiting slaughter plants and livestock concentration facilities to emphasize surveillance and reporting procedures, and scheduling inspections of all swine waste feeders to ensure compliance and reporting of any diseases that may be suspicious for foreign animal disease. In addition, a team of 40 APHIS, state government, and university experts has traveled to Europe to monitor the outbreak and assist in containment efforts.

Sources: USDA press releases (2) on March 13, 2001; USDA-APHIS internal guidance to Area Veterinarians in Charge and State Plant Health Directors; and Agworldwide agriculture news

CEI’s plans for follow up:

CEI will be prepared to provide more information as needed regarding consequences of this outbreak. If you seek more information or wish to comment on this worksheet, contact Judy Akkina (970-490-7852), David Cummings (970-490-7895), or Chris Kopral (970-490-7819).

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