In the event of an outbreak, a very important component of the Minnesota SMS Program is for dairy personnel to closely observe each individual animal twice daily for signs of FMD and to monitor the herd production parameters, such as feed intake and milk production, for any changes. This allows for early detection and containment of the disease and is referred to as Active Observational Surveillance (AOS).

  • FMD does not pose a risk to public health or food safety, and it is not the same disease as hand, foot, and mouth disease in humans.

2.3.1 Training

The dairy operation should have a Cattle Health Monitor. This person is responsible for overseeing the observation of the herd for signs of FMD and for training all animal care personnel to recognize the signs of FMD. These include fever, decreased activity, nasal discharge, drooling, and blisters and/or sores in the mouth, including on the tongue, as well as on the hooves and teats. These sores are painful and may also cause lameness, difficulty standing, and decreased appetite and milk production. While death is uncommon in adult animals, young calves may die suddenly due to heart damage from the virus.

[Coming soon: FMD training PowerPoint]

The following training resources are available online from the national Secure Milk Supply Plan:

  • A one-page summary handout
  • An FMD pocket guide in English and Spanish
  • A poster in English and Spanish that clearly illustrates the progression of the disease lesions
  • An additional poster in English that serves as a reminder to dairy personnel of all of the possible signs of FMD 

The FMD pocket guide may also be ordered in print.

Training documentation

Training of dairy personnel must be documented and refreshed yearly and upon hiring of new employees. A training documentation form is available on the national SMS Plan website.

2.3.2 AOS log book

Daily findings from the AOS must be recorded in a logbook that can be shown to regulatory officials as needed when requesting a permit to move milk. The logbook must contain the following information:  date, AM or PM, animal(s), whether production parameters are normal or abnormal, whether clinical signs are normal or abnormal, and the name of the person observing the cattle.

An example log sheet is available on the national SMS Plan website.

The national SMS Plan website also includes an AOS checklist that can serve as a reminder to dairy personnel responsible for monitoring individual and herd health.

2.3.3 Reporting to regulatory officials

In order to help contain the spread of FMD, any abnormal AOS findings must be immediately reported to State regulatory officials, through the herd veterinarian or directly to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health at 651-296-2942, or 800-422-0798 (after hours).

A form from the national SMS Plan website helps producers create a plan for reporting abnormal findings in the event they are observed in their herd.