Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious livestock disease (which rarely infects humans). Since 2001, outbreaks abroad have cost billions of dollars. A U.S. outbreak would likely halt exports of all livestock products, and could have serious economic consequences.

USDA has learned lessons from abroad, conducted outbreak exercises, and identified the need for additional preparedness improvements, such as a better process for allocating its limited vaccine supply. However, it has not followed its procedures for prioritizing improvements and many remain incomplete.