Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer and camels. FMD can spread through contact between infected animals, movement of infected animals, localised spread of airborne particles carried by the wind, and through movement of contaminated animal products, vehicles, equipment.
The most likely way that FMD could enter Australia is by the illegal importation of livestock products such as meat and dairy products. This entry pathway for travellers from at risk countries is mitigated by Australia’s border biosecurity arrangements which has protocols in place and audits at ports, mail centres and airports.
Both diseases are not harmful to humans but can have a devastating impact on livestock production and international trade.
Everyone has a role in preventing harmful pests and diseases from entering Australia.
Lumpy skin disease
Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle and water buffalo that can result in significant production losses and impact on international trade of live animal and animal products. It is spread by biting insects such as midges, ticks and mosquitoes, movement of and through contact with infected animals.
The most likely way LSD could enter Australia is by insects being carried across from Indonesia via strong winds during monsoonal weather or infected insect vectors entering on returning vessels. The returning vessel pathway is mitigated by disinfestation of returning ships.
Are you FMD and LSD ready?
All livestock owners should have a high level of biosecurity in place on their property, including accurate records of livestock movement. To access farm biosecurity resources visit the Farm Biosecurity Program website.
If you’re travelling to Australia, importing goods or ordering goods through the mail, be aware of what is permitted entry. Check the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website for the latest biosecurity-related travel information including:
People who have travelled overseas and had contact with livestock in infected countries, or farmland where livestock are present, need to declare this when arriving in Australia. They should also ensure all footwear, clothing and equipment is thoroughly cleaned and free of mud and animal manure and mucus and not have direct contact with livestock for seven days after arrival into Australia.
Western Australian livestock producers must be alert for signs of disease in their animals. If animals are showing signs of illness consistent with FMD or LSD, this needs to be reported urgently to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, your DPIRD field veterinary officer or to your veterinarian.
Check your livestock ownership registration
Western Australia has a mandatory livestock ownership, identification and movement system.
Livestock identification and recording livestock movements in the National Livestock Identification System and correctly filling out waybills are the cornerstones of our livestock traceability system.
These measures are critical in the event of a disease outbreak, allowing industry and government to trace infected or exposed livestock and respond rapidly.
WA exports 80 per cent of its livestock and livestock product annually which would be impossible without an effective traceability system to verify the food safety and health status of our livestock.
Livestock owners should visit our Livestock ownership, identification and movement in Western Australia webpage for information on how to meet these requirements.
Australia’s Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement and Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN) sets out the nationally agreed approach that would be taken to respond to an outbreak of FMD or LSD in Australia.
For more information about FMD or LSD disease prevention and preparedness, contact your local DPIRD veterinarian.
Access additional resources to learn more about FMD.