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Five things to know about FMD and LSD

28 July 2022

There’s been lots of discussion lately in our industry around Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) as well as Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD). Australia is currently free of FMD and LSD, both of which have recently been detected in Indonesia.

Read on to get the facts on FMD and LSD.

What is FMD and LSD?

What’s it called?

What is it?

How does it spread?

What are the possible symptoms?

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

A highly contagious animal disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, deer and pigs.

Through close contact between animals, by animal products or by the wind.

  • fever
  • drooling
  • reluctancy to move
  • mouth, snout, tongue, hoof blisters.

Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD)

A contagious viral disease that affects cattle (both beef and dairy) and water buffalo.

By biting insects and fomites.

  • discharge from eyes and nose
  • decreased milk yield in lactating cattle
  • high fever
  • firm skin nodules
  • loss of body condition

Why is there so much talk about these diseases?

It’s important to know that Australia is currently free from both FMD and LSD and everyone’s priority is to keep it that way.

However, the threat of these diseases entering Australia has increased significantly with the detection of LSD in Indonesia in March and the detection of FMD in Bali on 5 July this year.

An LSD or FMD outbreak in Australia would be devastating to our livestock and associated industries through international trade losses, market disruptions, animal health impacts and production losses. FMD alone could cost Australia around $80 billion over 10 years (Source: DAFF, 2022).

What’s MLA doing about FMD and LSD?

The Australian Government is responsible for managing the programs that protect Australia from diseases such as FMD and LSD. MLA is the dedicated marketing and research body for Australian red meat and we are doing everything we can to support government and industry.

MLA, in conjunction with the Australian Government, is working closely with the Indonesian Government and industry on a biosecurity support program to help control the spread of FMD and LSD.

MLA is also an active member of the industry taskforce working on planning and preparedness.

MLA’s role here as the marketing and research provider for the red meat industry is to support the industry taskforce with technical expertise and investment in potential prevention and treatment solutions, including mRNA vaccines.

Read more about MLA or what MLA is doing in response to FMD and LSD.

What’s the government doing about this?

State and federal governments are undertaking a range of activities to manage the biosecurity risks posed by LSD and FMD and are actively engaged with industry and Indonesia on prevention and planning.

The Australian Veterinary Plan (AUSVETPLAN) is in place as the nationally agreed approach to respond to an animal disease outbreak.

Currently, some of the measures the Federal Government is taking to combat and contain FMD and LSD include:

  • increased international border measures for passengers and goods arriving in Australia from Indonesia, from sanitation foot mats to eighteen new biosecurity officers
  • working with Indonesia to contain and control its FMD and LSD outbreaks, including providing $14 million in immediate funding and a further $1.5 million for vaccines
  • boosting biosecurity education and awareness amongst Australians.
  • increased disease surveillance and preparedness measures in northern Australia
  • investing in projects to build the capacity of nearby countries to control FMD.

What is industry doing to help?

Livestock producers should be prepared and vigilant around their biosecurity and animal health. This includes: