The Hoof and Mouth Crisis…Could It Happen Here?

Hill and Knowlton Vice Chairman Frank Mankiewicz returned last week from Europe-a hotbed of breaking news. In France and the U.K., health officials are working feverishly to
contain hoof-and-mouth disease, an animal virus doing considerable harm to the agricultural economy. Mankiewicz, who has worked on the European "Mad Cow" crisis, says he believes
communications efforts in the U.K. have been exceptional, though he's not sure the U.S. is prepared for the crisis if it crosses "the pond." And it may already have. At press
time, The Washington Post was reporting that Vermont sheep are suspected of carrying "Mad Cow" disease, deadly to humans when contracted through cattle. "My feeling
is if we confirm one case of Mad Cow in the U.S., people will be close to a panic," says Mankiewicz.