BY C. Douglas Golden, The Western JournalFebruary 5, 2023
1 year ago
 | February 5, 2023
1 year ago

Ranchers Warn of Disease That Could 'Decimate' Cattle Industry - Biden's Open Border to Blame

The biggest victim of President Joe Biden's border crisis, livestock experts are warning, may not even be able to vote -- and may not be human at all.

According to Fox News, ranchers are sounding the alarm over the possibility that open borders could bring an outbreak of a dangerous disease that could "decimate" cattle, pigs, sheep and other cloven-hooved animals.

In an interview published on Friday, Todd Wilkinson, the president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and a South Dakota rancher, sounded the alarm about foot and mouth disease coming in over our unsecured southern border.

"Our border is just so porous, if that disease comes in, it’s just going to devastate the industry. And frankly, I don’t know how it’s been kept out to this point," he said.

While the disease circulates among 77 percent of the world's livestock population -- primarily in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and parts of South America -- the United States hasn't had an outbreak since 1929.

However, because of the border crisis, Wilkinson predicts that will change.

"It can come in, certainly, with animals. It can also come in on a meat product. So there’s a number of ways it’s going to come in. But the most likely way it’s going to come in is some manure on the bottom of somebody’s boot," he said.

Should the disease come into the United States, he said, a mandatory 72-hour pause of cattle movement would be called for. In reality, that could be up to a weeklong pause.


"Just think of that -- no cattle moving anywhere in the country, or going in and out of the country, for up to a week … you’re going to see the beef industry just decimated," he said.

"That’s why we’re so concerned about getting traceability in place, so that we can track those issues, and we can reduce the size of the quarantine very quickly," he added.

One can look toward foreign countries that have had recent outbreaks to get an idea of what might happen if foot and mouth disease makes its way over the southern border.

For instance, Fox News reported, a 2001 British outbreak of the disease, which led to 6 million cows, pigs and sheep being slaughtered, "had an economic impact of between $12 billion and $18 billion.

"In the U.S., an outbreak contained to California could cost $6 billion to $14 billion. The economic impact of a nationwide agroterrorism attack could reach $228 billion, according to the Department of Agriculture," Fox News noted.

Two New Mexico ranchers that Fox News talked to -- Alisa Ogden and Loren Patterson -- agreed it was a serious threat.

"I think it’s a matter of time," Patterson said.

Ogden, meanwhile, said there were other "unknown" outbreak concerns created by the porous border.

"It’s a huge unknown, you never know what’s going to be coming … It’s the unknown, and not being able to monitor what you’re producing, food for others," she said.

The concerns come as the numbers of illegal immigrants apprehended at the southern border continue to skyrocket -- with over 250,000 encounters in a month for the first time ever in December of last year.

And, keep in mind, that number just takes into account the people who were caught -- and if Title 42 pandemic policies, which allow the summary expulsion of most illegal immigrants are ended, those numbers could skyrocket even further.

Patterson isn't wrong: Quite frankly, it's rather amazing that we haven't had a major outbreak yet. And yet, the same party that endorsed a vaccine mandate and compulsory masking is wholly unconcerned about our unsecured southern border. One can easily see the naked cynicism behind this double standard -- and soon, American meat buyers may see the results of it firsthand.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: C. Douglas Golden, The Western Journal



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