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Stockgrowers thank Johnson, Thune for FMD bill

South Dakota

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association appreciates Senator Johnson, D-SD, for his bill that seeks to prevent importation of livestock from Argentina until the country has eradicated Food and Mouth Disease.

SDSGA President Larry Nelson, Buffalo, S.D., says that the legislation, co-sponsored by Senator John Thune, R-SD, and several other senators from cattle rich states is similar to a bill introduced last year in both the house and senate to stop the "regionalization" of Argentina.

"USDA has sought to declare certain regions of Argentina free from FMD, while other regions are known to be infected with the destructive disease. How can we as a nation even consider importing livestock from a country that is known to have FMD? The disease is so highly contagious that it could easily spread to livestock in one of the so-called 'disease-free' regions in the blink of an eye," said Nelson. "Foot and Mouth Disease has been known worldwide to be the most financially devastating disease to cattle industries in other countries--it would be irresponsible for our government to even think about importing from a country that is known to harbor the disease."

Johnson shares the sentiments of Nelson and the Stockgrowers.

"This is a new Congress with a new President in the White House, but we are not going to let an old problem gain footing. Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly contagious and destructive disease, and we cannot risk the health of our livestock herds for questionable imports from Argentina," said Johnson, the author of the legislation in a news release from his office. "We want the new Administration to understand the importance of this issue."

The Stockgrowers believe that the U.S. should not import livestock from Argentina until they are FMD-free without vaccination.

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