A key challenge for global livestock production is the prevalence of infectious animal diseases. These diseases result in low productivity in meat and dairy production, culled animals, and significant barriers to trade and lost income from meat and meat products. Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) affects both developing countries, where it is often endemic and very costly, and developed countries where incursions result in considerable economic losses in the order of billions of dollars per year. In some cases, production levels of pork meat in developed countries have still not recovered to levels prior to past disease incursions, more than a decade ago. In developing countries, the export of animal products has exhibited sluggish growth for decades, constrained by ongoing animal disease problems. We make three contributions. First, we provide an overview of worldwide meat production, consumption and trade in the context of FMD. Second, we provide insights into the economics of biosecurity measures and how these activities should be optimally designed to enhance livestock production. Third, we analyse a case study of an FMD-endemic country, Vietnam, which has been trying to achieve FMD-free status for some time. Lessons learnt from this case study shed light on the challenges in achieving FMD-free status in developing countries, which is useful for a global FMD control strategy and the promotion of world food security.