First stop for foot-and-mouth disease updates: Local Land Services

Excessive drooling and salivation is one of the signs of foot-and-mouth disase. Photo: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

LOCAL livestock owners are on high alert after Foot-and-Mouth Disease fragments were found in imported meat in Melbourne and Adelaide.

Though it has been detected in meat products, an outbreak of the disease has not been declared here.

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Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a highly-contagious animal disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, deer and pigs.

FMD can be spread through close contact between animals and carried on animal products, equipment, people’s clothing or carried by the wind.

FMD outbreaks are common in Asia, the Middle East, South America and parts of Africa.

In May 2022 an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth disease was officially reported in cattle in Indonesia.

The exotic Lumpy Skin Disease is also now present in Indonesia and last week the first detection of the disease was noted in Australia.

Local Land Services Director of Animal Biosecurity and Welfare, Paul Hutchings, told News Of The Area the LLS is working with district vets and biosecurity officers to carry out animal disease surveillance and investigations across the state.

“Additionally, we are working with saleyards, producer groups and landholders to increase awareness of FMD and other exotic diseases like Lumpy Skin Disease and providing advice about prevention and preparedness activities that are within people’s control,” he said.

LLS is encouraging landholders to focus on effective biosecurity measures on-farm.

“The best thing livestock managers can do right now is to refresh their biosecurity plan, learn the common symptoms of FMD and Lumpy Skin Disease and closely monitor their livestock,” Mr Hutchings said.

Landholders should immediately report any suspected cases to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, or their LLS District Veterinarian by phoning 1300 795 299. 

Australia has long-standing arrangements in place to manage animal disease outbreaks.

The ‘AUSVETPLAN Foot-and-Mouth Disease Response Strategy’ describes the nationally-agreed approach to control and eradicate FMD should it occur in Australia.


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