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Foot and Mouth Disease

Scientific Name

Family Picornaviridae, genus Aphthovirus (Belsham 1993)

Common Name

Foot and mouth disease, hoof-and-mouth disease

Native To

First observed in 1514 in Italy (AVMA 2007)

Date of U.S. Introduction

Nine outbreaks of foot and mouth disease occurred in the U.S. between 1905 and 1929. It is widespread through the world, but it was eradicated from the U.S. in 1929. (Segarra and Rawson 2001)

Means of Introduction

Contact with infected animals (CFSPH 2007); eating infected meat (Segarra and Rawson 2001)


Contagious disease of cattle, swine, sheep, goats, deer, and other cloven-hoofed animals. Foot and mouth disease is considered to be the most economically devastating livestock disease in the world, and represents a worst-case scenario for livestock diseases because of the variety of species involved, rapid spread, and difficulty in controlling outbreaks. The 2001 FMD outbreak in Great Britain resulted in the slaughter of more than 6 million animals and an estimated economic loss of 20 billion dollars. (AVMA 2007)

Current U.S. Distribution

Not currently established

Foot-and-mouth disease
Image use policy

Infrared image of a cow infected with foot-and-mouth-disease virus. Note that the hooves are red. Red color in the hooves indicates heat


Photo by Craig Packer; USDA, ARS, Image Gallery

Find more images


  • USDA Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt Visits Mexico to Celebrate 75 Years of Mexico-U.S. Commission for Prevention of Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Other Exotic Animal Diseases

    • May 25, 2022
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny L. Moffitt commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Mexico-U.S. Commission for Prevention of Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Other Exotic Animal Diseases (CPA). To celebrate this occasion, Mexico’s National Agro-Alimentary Health, Safety, and Quality Service (SENASICA) hosted a celebration in Mexico City. This binational Commission, established in 1947, was instrumental in eradicating foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Mexico and preventing introduction to the United States. FMD was eradicated from the United States in 1929, and Mexico has been FMD-free since 1954. This celebration honors the longevity and success of this collaboration between the United States and Mexico.

  • Animal Pests and Diseases - Foot-and-Mouth Disease

    • Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

    • In May 2022, an outbreak of FMD was reported in cattle in Indonesia and has since spread to Bali. An incursion of the virus would have severe consequences for Australia’s animal health and trade. The emergence and rapid spread of FMD in Indonesia has changed the risk profile for passengers and goods arriving in Australia. As result Australia has strengthened its border activities and new measures were immediately imposed to help prevent an incursion.

  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease and a Collaborative Response from the U.S. and Mexico

    • USDA. ARS. National Agricultural Library.

    • This Story from NAL's Collection invites readers to appreciate the complex history of foot-and-mouth disease and the relationship between the United States and Mexico. It briefly chronicles the 1946-1954 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Mexico and how the United States and Mexican governments worked together to eradicate the disease.

Federally Regulated

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Federal Government
State and Local Government