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Response to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD)

15 July 2022

Preparedness for any biosecurity threat to the red meat and livestock industry is always front of mind for MLA.

The Australian Government is responsible for managing the programs that protect Australia from diseases such as FMD and LSD. Our industry representative organisations are working closely with Government to do this, and MLA is doing everything we can to support their work.

MLA in conjunction with the Australian Government, is working closely with the Indonesian Government and Industry via a biosecurity support program to help control the spread of FMD and LSD in Indonesia. The program involves on the ground support from the Australian Industry to improve the Indonesian feedlot sector’s emergency response to these diseases. It will also enable longer term biosecurity capacity of the Indonesian feedlot sector to continue to operate with minimal disruption.

In response to FMD and LSD, the Red Meat Advisory Council has activated the red meat and livestock industry’s crisis management process. This led to the formation of a high-level cross-industry taskforce to ensure coordination and collaboration across all affected industry sectors. The taskforce meets weekly and comprises senior representatives from the Red Meat Advisory Council, the National Farmers’ Federation, Australian Dairy Farmers, and their respective industry service providers, including Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). 

MLA plays a key supporting role to the taskforce by providing technical advice via subject matter experts across the following four committees:

1. Overseas in-country support – to develop proposals for providing support to Indonesia and other neighbouring countries in their mitigation and management of LSD and to contribute to proposals for LSD support in overseas markets put forward by other parties.

2. Trade and protocols – to undertake specific market risk analysis and market prioritisation and determine protocol and health certificate needs, both pre-emptive and reactive.

3. Domestic containment strategy – to develop effective strategies to inform the containment and management of the spread of LSD should it arrive in Australia, complementing existing processes and plans, such as AUSVETPLAN, as well as other work being developed. This includes:

  • vector control
  • containment lines and zoning
  • quarantine
  • eradication and disposal
  • food safety
  • transport and movement
  • response capacity and capability.

4. LSD diagnostic capability and vaccine development – to develop strategies for the development of diagnostic capability and vaccines to diagnose, prevent and manage the spread of LSD, should it arrive in Australia.

The Taskforce is also hosting an industry webinar on FMD and LSD for participants to hear from four key leaders and experts on Australia's FMD and LSD response so far, gain firsthand insight into what is happening in Indonesia, and what would happen if it arrived in Australia. The speakers include:

John McKillop | Independent Chair | Red Meat Advisory Council

John has more than 25 years of senior agribusiness experience. Previous roles have included CEO of Hassad Australia, Managing Director of Clyde Agriculture and executive roles with Elders and Stanbroke Pastoral Company. John has been involved in beef and sheep production, feedlotting, processing, live export and meat exporting. John is currently Chair of Black Box Co and CEO of S. Kidman & Co and Hancock Agriculture and he has extensive board experience.

Fiona Simson | President | National Farmers’ Federation

NSW farmer Fiona also chairs Future Food Systems CRC, is a Commissioner and Chair of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, sits as a Director on the Boards of Australian Made Australian Grown, and NRMA (NSW). Fiona will provide an update on her visit to Indonesia with the Minister for Agriculture.

Dr Chris Parker | National LSD/FMD Preparedness Coordinator | DAFF

Prior to his current role, Chris was the First Assistant Secretary Biosecurity Plant Division with the Department and has also held several roles including CEO of Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, and Minister Counsellor Agriculture at the Australian Embassy. Chris will provide an update on the biosecurity response.

Dr Samantha Allan | General Manager of Emergency Preparedness, Animal Health and Biosecurity | Animal Health Australia

Samantha is a senior veterinarian and leader with extensive experience in managing complex biosecurity programs, and leading animal disease emergency preparedness and response activities. She has worked in government veterinary roles as well as rural clinical practice in NSW, and South Yorkshire, England. Samantha will speak about what would happen if LSD/FMD arrived in Australia. 

Register for the webinar here