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AMI Foundation Will Hold Foot-and-Mouth Disease Briefing June 14 at Washington Hilton

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Washington, DC -- The AMI Foundation will host a one-day briefing to provide up-to-date information about foot and mouth on June 14, 2001, at the Washington Hilton & Towers in Washington, DC.

The Foundation is holding the briefing in response to questions about government and industry efforts to keep FMD from spreading to the United States.

“Many questions still surround foot and mouth disease and U.S. efforts to prevent it from arriving on our shores and what would happen if a confirmed case was diagnosed in the U.S.,” AMIF President James H. Hodges said. “We hope to provide useful information from key industry and government officials who are on the frontlines of disease prevention, surveillance, diagnosis and emergency preparedness.”

Alfonso Torres, DVM, and Peter Fernandez, both veterinarians and program administrators at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), will give an overview of the disease and the current outbreaks around the world. APHIS Regional Epidemiologist Jack Shere, DVM, will highlight the situation in the United Kingdom, focusing on why it happened and how it was controlled.

Tom Gomez, the Centers for Disease Control liaison to APHIS, will explain why FMD poses no threat to human health. APHIS officials Karen James, assistant director of the National Center for Import and Export, and Lee Ann Thomas, DVM, of APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine division, will present what the agency is doing on the import/export front and at ports
of entry into the country to prevent the disease from spreading to the U.S.

Tom McKenna, DVM, director of the APHIS Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, will discuss how the disease is diagnosed and what would happen if the disease struck U.S. livestock herds. An official from the Emergency Programs division at APHIS will present the agency’s emergency response plan which will be put into place in the unlikely event the disease reaches the U.S.

Bernadette Dunham, DVM, assistant director of government relations at the American Veterinary Medicine Association, will wrap up the briefing with a synopsis of how the industry efforts reinforce government surveillance programs.

The one-day briefing will help those in the livestock marketing chain understand what the impact of the disease might be on their operations and how to lessen any adverse effects should the disease be diagnosed in our herds.

AMI member rates are available to a number of trade association members. Check the meeting section at www.meatinstitute.org for more information and to register online. The member rate is $245 per person or $225 for three or more members from the same company. The non-member rate is $345.

For hotel accommodations, contact the Washington Hilton & Towers directly at 202/797-5820 before May 21, 2001. After this date, rooms will be on a space available basis. Mention AMI and receive a special discounted rate of $149 for single occupancy and $169 for double occupancy.

The AMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education and information that benefit the meat and poultry industry. Originally created in 1944, the AMI Foundation today solicits grants from government, industry and other organizations to fund a broad range of food safety, worker safety, nutrition and consumer information projects.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs

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