Like human beings, animals can become ill. To keep valuable livestock healthy, farmers invest in quality food, water, injury prevention, and medical care. However, identifying sick animals is not always easy because herd animals seek to hide illness from predators. Illness is often initially detected indirectly by observing changes in appetite, weight, drinking behavior or activity – such as spending time away from the herd. Humans and animals are all surrounded by microorganisms, some of which, called pathogens, can produce infectious illness and disease. Some pathogens affect both humans and animals, while others affect only animals or only certain species of animals. This newsletter looks at a disease that infects several types of farm animals and causes significant losses, both within and beyond the agricultural sector: foot and mouth disease (FMD).
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