Food supply veterinary medicine

Protecting America's food supply

Food supply veterinary medicine (FSVM) is key to the health and welfare of production animals as well as to the safety and wholesomeness of their products. Veterinarians protect our food supply from the farm to the dinner table. The veterinary community involved in food supply veterinary medicine helps to protect the health and welfare of animals that produce eggs, milk, meat, wool, and other protein and fiber products.

In production paradigms, not only do veterinarians care for individual animals, but they also help prevent ailments and promote health and welfare throughout the herds and flocks with which they work. This kind of population medicine has many similarities with its counterpart for humans, which is public health. Both public health and herd medicine strive to keep their respective general populations healthy and know that there are increased risks for those within the populations with weaker immune systems—the young, old, pregnant, or immunosuppressed—for which they need to be prepared.

Certain diseases, such as foot and mouth disease (FMD), classical swine fever (CSF), and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), would cause devastation at many levels—from individual farms to international trade—if they were to occur in the United States. The AVMA, which is a member of the Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) Food and Agriculture Sector, is keenly aware of the national devastation possible by certain animal diseases.