Foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease
Australia is foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) free and has not had a known case of FMD since 1872, however, the current outbreak so close to our border makes Australia more susceptible to the disease through close proximity and travel and therefore requires vigilance, planning and risk mitigation.
On Wednesday, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) announced that some pork products have been removed from supermarket shelves after viral fragments of both FMD and African Swine Fever (ASF) were detected during the DAFF’s routine surveillance and testing of meat and other animal products.
Finding traces of viral fragments is not unusual, and this find does not change Australia’s disease-free status for FMD and ASF.
DAFF has increased its surveillance and testing of meat and other animal products, both at the border and through targeted checking of retail outlets. DAFF reiterate on their website that the risk of an outbreak remains low.
Elders are actively working with industry and relevant government authorities (State and Federal) to keep it from our shores and to plan and prepare, should the disease make it to Australia.
If you are a livestock producer, there are a number of on farm biosecurity measures you can take to reduce the risk of FMD entering your property.
In summary, basic biosecurity steps include:
- Familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of FMD, report even the slightest concerns to your vet or the Emergency Animal Disease hotline on 1800 675 888
- Recording and restricting movement of visitors onto the farm and using farm vehicles for movement around the farm with Livestock agents, contractors, etc
- Provide a boot washing facility or ensure visitors enter with clean footwear
- Ask if visitors have been to Indonesia or Bali in the last month and had interactions with susceptible livestock, take adequate precautions if they answer yes. Additionally, Elders has recommended staff who have returned from Indonesia or Bali do not enter a livestock property for a period of seven days.
- Update your LPA on-farm biosecurity plan
- Ensure your NLIS database is up to date including P2P transfers
- Provide a visual reminder with Biosecurity signs at property entrances
As part of this note, we have included some example resources available that may assist in relation to providing further information and mitigating the risk:
- The official DAFF website
- Resources to manage on-farm biosecurity from Integrity Systems
- RMAC webinar on LSD and FMD
- Biosecurity information from Australian Pork
We will continue to update you and work diligently as an industry to keep FMD from entering Australia.