What is the Minnesota Secure Milk Supply Program?
The Minnesota Secure Milk Supply (SMS) Program is a voluntary initiative to provide commercial dairy producers and processors with a continuity of business plan to use in the event of a foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreak, such as foot and mouth disease (FMD). This program outlines emergency disease preparedness measures that will help protect the dairy industry’s viability in the face of an outbreak. These measures will also assist producers and processors when working with State and Federal animal health officials during an outbreak. The Minnesota program is based on the national Secure Milk Supply Plan, which is the result of a multi-year collaborative effort by industry, state, federal, and academic representatives.
In an FMD outbreak, movement of milk may be halted or restricted as part of disease control efforts. Officials must balance the risk of allowing movement of raw milk (disease spread) against the risk of not allowing movement (on-farm disposal of raw milk). To maintain continuity of business, it will be critical for producers and processors to be able to move milk to processing. Participating in the Minnesota SMS Program offers producers and processors the best opportunity to meet the expectations of regulatory officials and demonstrate that it is safe to move their milk during an animal health emergency.
Components of the program
Traceability and Movement Management
Once infected premises are identified, disease Control Areas will be established around infected premises, and milk movement from farms in disease Control Areas will likely only be allowed by permit. Permits are issued to producers who can verify that their operations have taken appropriate disease prevention measures and are not linked to any premises posing a high risk infection. Producers will need to have a valid national Premises Identification Number (PIN) as well as detailed producer records for animal, human, vehicle, and equipment traffic to enable officials to make informed decisions about permitting the movement of milk from the Control Area(s).
Foreign animal disease training and response
Farm personnel must become familiar with FMD, the FAD of greatest concern for cattle. Participating producers must actively observe their cattle, recognize clinical signs, document their findings, and report any abnormalities.
In the event of an outbreak, producers must be prepared to implement enhanced biosecurity measures during milk loading to prevent the spread of disease. In advance, they must: 1) Identify a biosecurity manager; and 2) Draft a written, site-specific enhanced biosecurity plan for on-farm milk loading including documented training of personnel. Dairy personnel and milk haulers must follow the farm’s biosecurity protocols (See Producer section and Hauler section), and processors must develop procedures and enhanced biosecurity measures for the plant that will prevent disease spread (See Processor section).
Much of the content for the Minnesota Secure Milk Supply Program is adapted from the national Secure Milk Supply Plan developed by the Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH), Iowa State University (ISU), College of Veterinary Medicine and representatives from the dairy industry, state and federal agencies, and academia. Those materials were made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).