Montana State University

Foot-and-mouth summit still open for registration

December 4, 2007 -- From MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- Livestock producers and animal health officials from at least 10 states have registered for a foot-and-mouth disease summit to be held Wednesday, Dec. 12, in Billings, but it is still open to those who wish to attend, organizers said.

The summit will run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. It will focus on ways to prevent foot-and-mouth disease and strengthen the livetock industry's defenses against it.

"We have put together a long list of national and regional experts on FMD and emergency animal disease response," said Charlene Schuster of Billings, executive director of the Montana Beef Council. "This summit is designed to address the issues related to preventing, detecting and responding to an FMD crisis in this country."

Foot-and-mouth disease is a severe, highly communicable viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. The United States has been free of the disease since 1929, but summit organizers said devastating outbreaks can occur quickly. Many affected animals recover, but the disease leaves them debilitated. In cattle, it causes severe losses in milk and meat production.

The summit is a joint effort of the Montana Beef Council and the Montana State University Beef Quality Assurance program. The program is worth seven continuing education credits for Montana veterinarians.

The summit is free, but attendees must R.S.V.P. Contact Schuster at (406) 656-3336 or; Clint Peck at (406) 896-9068 or

For the schedule and more information about the conference, see or call Schuster or Peck.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or