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

Recent cases of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) have been confirmed in Indonesia.
In July 2022, FMD was also detected in Bali.

Australia is currently free from FMD and LSD and our priority is to keep it that way.

It’s the Australian Government’s responsibility for protecting Australia from these diseases, and the industry is doing everything we can to support their work. We understand Australia’s frontline biosecurity officers are currently operating with increased vigilance across all flights arriving from Indonesia, including Bali.

The risk of these diseases is at the forefront of industry priorities. There is a very clear and robust plan in place. It’s known as the AUSVETPLAN and you can read more about it online.  Emergency response arrangements - Animal Health Australia

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.

Potential impact: Should either disease reach Australian shores, there would be a significant impact for our livestock industries, along with substantial trade impacts if Australia was no longer recognised as being free from FMD or LSD.

The cost of a disease incursion would also see severe economic losses to Australia’s agricultural sector. 

MLA’s role: Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is an active member of the industry taskforce working on planning and preparedness.

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

Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD)
  • Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle and buffalo that originated in Africa and has since spread to Southeast Asia, including Indonesia.
  • The disease is spread primarily by biting insects such as certain species of flies, mosquitoes and ticks.
  • The disease can also be spread by fomites through such things as contaminated equipment and in some cases directly from animal to animal.
  • Infection typically causes an acute disease with fever, depression, and characteristic skin nodules. There may also be a marked reduction in milk yield as well as abortion in pregnant animals. It has a low mortality rate but can cause significant animal welfare concerns and production loss.
  • It does not pose a risk to human health.

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)
  • Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious animal disease that affects cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.
  • FMD can spread through close contact between animals and be carried on animal products or by the wind. The virus is excreted in breath, saliva, mucus, milk and faeces of affected animals.
  • The disease causes foot lesions which leave animals lame and unable to walk to feed or water. In addition, tongue and mouth lesions can cause animals to drool and stop eating.
  • Adults usually recover begin eating again after a few days, but young animals may weaken and die, or be left with foot deformities or damage to the mammary glands.
  • Human infections have been reported but they are very rare and do not result in serious disease. There are no safety implications for the human food chain from an outbreak of FMD.

What producers can do

All livestock producers can do now is be prepared, vigilant and on the lookout.

Good biosecurity practices and early detection will be essential to reduce the potential impact of FMD or LSD, should either arrive in Australia.

Producers are urged to exercise vigilance on-farm by: