Working for public and animal health
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is an extremely contagious disease caused by aphthovirusand affects all cloven-footed animals.
Clinical signs include fever, vesicular lesions in the mouth and lameness. The virus spreads rapidly and is very resistant. It is not fatal but seriously affects the general health and productivity of farm animals.
VLA does not usually provide laboratory testing or consultancy on FMD. This work is provided by the Insitute for Animal Health (IAH) at Pirbright, which is the World Reference Laboratory for FMD.
However, VLA provided a substantial emergency response to help deal with the outbreak in 2001.