The Foot and Mouth Disease

March 1, 1924
Entire Report

At a recent meeting the Cabinet spent the major portion of its session in consideration of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in California. The President expressed himself as being deeply concerned and directed the Secretary of Agriculture to bring to bear upon the situation all available federal resources.

In the last six months the foot and mouth disease has cost the United Kingdom $10,000,000. Because of the ravages of the disease no cattle have been admitted to the United States from Great Britain for two years. Channel Island cattle for breeding purposes may come in but not if transshipped at any United Kingdom port.

The epidemic of the disease in Germany in 1911 caused the affection of 3,366,369 cattle, 1,602,927 sheep and 2,555,371 hogs out of a total of only 51,319,000 of these animals, including goats. In that year there were 172,572,000 such animals in the United States or between three and four tines as many. It therefore will be seen that should the epidemic reach proportions here similar to those reached in Germany the loss would be enormous, affecting approximately 23,000,000 cattle of all sorts.

New Outbreak

On February 23, 1924 the Department of Agriculture announced discovery of a fresh outbreak of the disease in California and immediately the Secretary of Agriculture quarantined the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Solana? Marin, Napa, San Mateo, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Sonoma preventing shipments there from of all animals of the ruminant type, including wild animals, of meat, by products, hides, skins, hoofs, hay, straw or fodder. Hides, skins, hoofs, hay Straw or fodder may be shipped after disinfecting and inspection. Railroad cars, boats or other vehicles which have contained livestock are quarantined until disinfected. Rigid regulations govern disinfect ion and inspection.

Twenty-three farms in the named counties are affected. On these are some 2500 cattle, 6200 hogs and a few sheep and goats. In addition to the federal quarantine, the State of California has quarantined additional sections.

Nature of Disease

Foot and mouth disease is officially described as acutely contagious. It is peculiar to cloven-footed animals including such wild animals as the deer, but horses, dogs and birds are in some cases carriers of it and it has been known to affect man. After infection a period usually ranging from three to six days but sometimes extending to 18 days or longer elapses. Thereupon, lesions and eruptions of vesicles or blisters occur on the tongue and about the mouth. Udders of cows become infected. Lesions appear between the cleft of the hoofs. Cows become dry, steers lose heavily in weight and all

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