Should foot and mouth disease spread to the United States, the implications are disastrous. According to USDA, the losses would reach into billions of dollars very quickly. Animal health officials are watching with concern the relentless westward march of foot-and-mouth disease.

New York's Department of Agriculture and the USDA office in Texas already are stepping up preventative emergency biosecurity programs and ordering additional supplies of Virkon S broad spectrum disinfectant.

Virkon S, marketed in the United States by Phoenix-based Farnam Livestock Products, is known worldwide as one of the most effective biosecurity disinfectants for controlling and eliminating more than 38 viruses, including foot-and-mouth disease virus, bovine adenovirus type four, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, equine infectious anemia, canine parvovirus and pseudorabies. It eradicates more than 20 bacteria such as E. coli and several strains of staphylococci, streptococci and salmonellae. It is the only U.S. EPA-registered farm disinfectant with a label claim against foot-and-mouth disease.

With Britain's foot-and-mouth disease crisis spreading there and abroad, interest is growing in strict biosecurity border control measures. Despite their foot and mouth disease-free status, many countries are taking drastic measures to prevent the spread of this devastating highly infectious virus from the United Kingdom.

Antec International, which manufactures Virkon S, and DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise, manufacturers of an important active ingredient used in Virkon S, have stepped up supply efforts to meet escalating demands and prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

“As a highly contagious pathogen, foot and mouth disease requires a rapid biosecurity response, such as that provided by Antec and its worldwide partners like U.S.-based DuPont and Farnam, to enable farmers to bring the disease under control in as cost-effective manner as possible,” said Dr. Mark Blackwell, director of marketing and international sales for Antec International's Animal Health Division.

The USDA is disinfecting some European traveler's shoes, luggage and clothing to protect American livestock from the foot-and-mouth disease that has devastated British herds. U.S. officials are using a bleach solution todisinfect them.

Bleach is not the most efficacious disinfectant, especially for livestock production and equestrian facilities.

Although it is deadly to disease-causing pathogens, Virkon S has exceptionally low toxicity in solution, meaning it has no special disposal requirements or environmental residue problems. It is especially beneficial to production, companion animal and equestrian facilities because it will not corrode equipment or fittings when used as directed. Additionally, it is ideal for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces for all types of livestock.

The yellow powder dissolves easily in water and the prepared solution remains stable for up to seven days.

Virkon S is recommended for cleaning and disinfecting farrowing units, nurseries, finisher houses and processing plants. Virkon also is recommended for use in fogging (wet misting) operations, either before or after regular cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

Founded in 1946, Farnam Companies, Inc., is a privately held company and leader in the animal health products industry. For more information about Farnam Livestock Products, go to www.farnam.com on the Internet or call toll-free 888-241-9546. For information about Antec International and foot-and-mouth disease control advice, go to www.antecint.com .