Contrary to popular belief among the liberal left, securing the southern border has very little to do with race or ethnicity. This is something that some on the far right are agitated about in the darker corners of the web where white supremacy gets shrugged off.
No, a secure southern border is truly an issue of national security. In areas where crossing into the United States is simple, we see trafficking of all kinds: Guns, drugs, humans…and even diseases.
It’s this last unwanted import that has ranchers in the south growing ever more terrified.
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious virus that affects cows, pigs, sheep and other animals with cloven hooves. Todd Wilkinson, a South Dakota rancher who also serves as president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), told Fox News Digital it is only a matter of time before FMD makes its way across the 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,” Wilkinson said.
Other experts were similarly concerned.
FMD circulates in 77 percent of the global livestock population, primarily in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, along with parts of South America. The U.S. has been free of FMD since 1929.
Customs and Border Protection has told Fox News Digital there are an average of 6,858 migrant encounters at the border every day, and Wilkinson predicted this is where FMD could enter the U.S.
“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.
And just how much trouble could something like this cause?
In 2001, a FMD outbreak in the U.K. resulted in the slaughter of more than 6 million pigs, cows and sheep, according to the BBC. That outbreak 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.
For many experts, a border as porous as the one we have today means that it will only be a matter of time before an outbreak arrives, and the Biden administration won’t be able to say that they weren’t warned.
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