Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the benefit of the SPS Plan?

The benefit is realized in a foot and mouth disease (FMD), classical swine fever (CSF), or African swine fever (ASF) outbreak when healthy animals are moved to the packer or the next stage of production. Preparing ahead of time rather than during the chaos of an outbreak benefits the animals and those involved in the swine industry. Visit the Steps to Move page to learn more about preparing.

If the U.S. hasn't had a case of foot and mouth disease (FMD) since 1929, why do we need to spend time and effort preparing now?

There is always a risk of FMD being introduced into the U.S. due to extensive international trade and travel. This highly contagious livestock disease is present in approximately two-thirds of the countries in the world. Research suggests an outbreak in the U.S. could result in losses of $15 to $100 billion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Pork Board value preparedness and have funded the Secure Pork Supply Plan to help producers prepare. Visit the Steps to Move page and start preparing today!

How much does it cost to prepare as recommended in the SPS Plan?

The cost varies depending on your level of preparedness. Preparedness is similar to insurance. There is a cost investment relative to the assets that need protection. It is hard to put an exact dollar value on it, but preparing before an outbreak could be a great investment.Visit the Steps to Move page to learn more about preparing.

  • Requesting a premises identification number (PIN) is free.
  • Putting all of the biosecurity measures in place to keep foot and mouth (FMD), classical swine fever (CSF), or African swine fever (ASF) off a site can be expensive. However, writing an enhanced biosecurity plan ahead of time costs very little.
  • Free resources for training employees about biosecurity and surveillance are available online.

What measures in the SPS Plan will be required by my packer, state, or the federal government?

The SPS Plan provides guidance only with opportunities to voluntarily prepare before a foot and mouth disease (FMD), classical swine fever (CSF), or African swine fever (ASF) outbreak. Each state can determine what guidance to use. Contact your State Animal Health Official to discuss what might be required in an outbreak.

My pigs get shipped to another state. Do all states follow the SPS Plan?

The SPS Plan was developed nationally and each state can determine what guidance to use. Contact your State Animal Health Official to discuss your animal movement needs and learn what might be required in an outbreak.

Do the biosecurity measures need to be audited?

Some States are conducting audits or pre-certification prior to a foot and mouth (FMD), classical swine fever (CSF), or African swine fever (ASF) outbreak. This may involve visiting the site, reviewing the enhanced biosecurity plan, and discussing animal movement on and off the site. This may become a component of the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus site assessment.

Does the SPS Plan only apply to larger producers?

The SPS Plan, along Secure Beef Supply (SBS) Plan and Secure Milk Supply (SMS) Plan, apply to production sites of any size. While the SPS Plan currently focuses on animals raised indoors, information is being developed for animals raised outdoors.

Can one Premises Identification Number (PIN) be used for animals owned by the same person but housed in multiple locations?

PINs serve as a method of locating animals in a Control Area during an outbreak and are also included on movement permits. It is important that the PIN reflect the actual location of the animals (latitude, longitude). If you have multiple or adjoining locations with animals, contact your State Animal Health Official for guidance on how many PINs may be needed. 

Are there Secure Food Supply Plans for other livestock?

Yes, there are Secure Food Supply Plans for beef and dairy cattle. The Secure Pork, Milk and Beef Supply Plans were all developed together so recommendations are similar with species-specific differences where needed. More information is available on the Secure Milk Supply website and Secure Beef Supply website

Who is a Regulatory Official?

Regulatory Officials are local, state, tribal, and federal officials who have the authority and responsibility to respond to foreign animal disease outbreaks.

Where can I get more information about foot and mouth disease (FMD), classical swine fever (CSF), and African swine fever (ASF)?

  • FMD affects cloven-hooved animals like cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats.
  • CSF and ASF affect only pigs.
  • FMD, CSF, and ASF are not public health or food safety concerns.
  • Meat and milk are safe to eat.
  • More information is available on the Disease Information page and on the Foot and Mouth Disease Info website.

Why aren't animals vaccinated now for FMD, CSF, or ASF, before an outbreak?

  • Watch the 8-minute FMD Vaccination video for that answer and much more information.
    • Effective FMD vaccines do exist, but they are strain specific (most strains require their own vaccine and do not cross-protect against infection from other strains, also known as subtypes).
    • There are many different strains of FMD circulating in the world and it is hard to predict with certainty which will enter into the United States.
  • Vaccinating for FMD or CSF has international trade repercussions, which would limit the ability of the United States to export.
  • An ASF vaccine is not available.

Does FMD, CSF, or ASF cause disease in people like it does animals?

  • FMD, CSF, or ASF are not public health or food safety concerns.
  • Meat and milk processed from FMD, CSF, or ASF-infected animals is safe to eat/drink.
  • FMD virus is not the same virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease in humans.
  • More information is available on the Disease Information page and on the Foot and Mouth Disease Info website.