Emergency Animal Disease Hub: foot-and-mouth and lumpy skin diseases

Page last updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2022 - 3:50pm

The threat of two significant livestock diseases, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease (LSD) has highlighted the importance of emergency animal disease prevention and preparedness following the detection of these diseases in Indonesia in 2022.

This webpage will be updated as new information becomes available. Please refer back to it for detailed guidance.

Latest update - 17 August 2022

Please see the information below, plus links and downloads to the right-hand side of this page. 

Register to receive updates

Email updates are being sent to livestock stakeholders in WA. If you would like to receive these, please register here.

Click the link to read the latest FMD and LSD update: 17 August edition.

Links to previous FMD and LSD updates are below:

FMD disease preparedness: information forums

A series of FMD and LSD preparedness information forums will be held in regional WA during August to provide useful advice and guidance for livestock owners. The forums will:

  • ensure livestock producers are aware of the disease signs and know what they should be doing to prepare and protect their stock.
  • provide information on the risk mitigation measures that can be put in place at a farm level.
  • provide information on response arrangements should we get a case of FMD or LSD in Australia.

Click the link below to register for the free information forum near you:

Latest advice for travellers

Follow these tips to help keep WA free of the devastating animal health impacts, market disruptions, and production and international trade losses a FMD or LSD incursion could bring:

  • Don’t bring meat or dairy products to Australia. If you do, you must declare them for inspection.
  • Declare on your Incoming Passenger Card if you have visited a rural area or been in contact with, or near, farm animals.
  • Avoid bringing back any souvenirs or other goods made of hide or containing animal hair.
  • Ensure any shoes, clothing or equipment you are bringing into Australia are clean and free from soil and manure.
  • Declare truthfully on your Incoming Passenger Card, and present anything you have declared to a biosecurity officer for inspection when you arrive in Australia.
  • Avoid farms and livestock for the first seven days after arriving in Australia.
  • Before mailing goods to Australia for your use, or the use of family and friends, check which items are allowed into Australia and accurately describe them on the postal declaration label.

Penalties of up to $2,664 apply for breaching Australia’s biosecurity laws. Your visa may also be cancelled.

Check for current traveller alerts on the Federal Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.

Clean your shoes

Biosecurity officers have been granted extra powers under the Biosecurity Act 2015. These powers include directing travellers from Indonesia and Bali to walk over sanitising foot mats after disembarking, and other measures such as shoe cleaning.

To clean shoes thoroughly:

  • Shake/scrape them to remove loose contamination such as soil and manure.
  • Wash soles, laces, velcro and external surfaces using soap/detergent, water and a brush.
  • Dry well and double check all traces of contamination are removed. Repeat procedure if any contamination remains visible.

Following these steps will help to reduce the risk, however, you must still declare on your Incoming Passenger Card if you have visited a rural area or been in contact with, or near, farm animals. Your shoes may then be inspected by a biosecurity officer at the airport and further treatment may be required. There are no penalties for truthfully declaring or disposing of items before undergoing biosecurity screening.

Top tip: If your shoes are dirty and/or you have visited a rural area, consider thoroughly cleaning your footwear or leaving it behind.

Any goods presenting an unacceptable level of biosecurity risk will be managed and may require treatment at your expense, in accordance with the Biosecurity Act 2015.

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.

Foot-and-mouth disease

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.

Protect

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.

Report

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.

Respond

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.

Contact information

Livestock Biosecurity